Step Out and Take Courage
What if your miracle was as close as your next step?
That thing you’re praying for, planning for . . . what if God was saying, “Your move.”
My Bible reading lately has been in the book of Joshua. Over and over God told Joshua to take courage and that He had already given the battle over to the Israelites. And that’s all well and good, but what if Joshua had been apathetic?
God said to be strong and courageous. To go and get it done, and then the promise would come.
So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, and the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.”
Deuteronomy 31:22-24 NET
Let me tell you something, friend. Jericho’s walls didn’t fall on their own. Thankfully, Joshua did take courage and walked out the promise God had given them.
Joshua and the Israelites had to take a seemingly crazy Word from the Lord, walk around Jericho once a day for 6 days, and 7 times the last day before giving a shout. They obeyed God’s command and the walls came down.
Courage to ask, “What if?”
Friend, what is God telling you to do?
My husband and I like to say, “Dream Big.” What are your big dreams?
Has God given you direction but fear has held you back?
Has God said, “Go!” but that first step seemed too crazy? All the what ifs assailed your mind as you struggled to maintain sight of Jesus above the waves of doubt? (I wrote a post on this, read it here.)
What if, instead of fear, you chose courage?
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that—and tremble with fear.
James 2:14-19 NET
Without works (action), our faith is dead. We need courage to walk in obedience to God’s Word. To God’s voice.
Joshua had a word from the Lord—the battle was already won, but he wasn’t getting out of the fight.
Peter still had to take courage and get out of the boat. See Matthew 14.
Servants had to fill jars with water, in obedience to Jesus’ command, before Jesus turned the water into wine. See John 2.
God planned to save the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea. But first, Moses had to raise his hands over the waters. See Exodus 14:26-30.
Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s all we had to do over our dreams? Raise our hands over them? Except for the running for their lives bit . . .
Then there was the other time, in Exodus 17, when Moses had to raise his arms for a miracle. As long as his arms were raised, the Israelites won the battle. But if his arms lowered, they lost. So, Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms for him. My army husband would call this a stress position, and he’d be right. But friends, sometimes we need a little support in seeing through to God’s promises. Sometimes, we might have courage, but we are running out of steam and we need someone to hold our hands up. Someone to encourage us.
Can you be that encourager? When you see someone else running toward the finish line toward the dreams God has given them . . . can you cheer that brother or sister in the Lord on? Can you encourage them to keep fighting the good fight of faith? To take courage when they’re getting weary?
So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 NET
Can you be the one that sees another growing weary, and says, “With God, all things are possible. Don’t give up. Have faith. Take courage.”
He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.
Isaiah 40:29,31 NET
Keeping on Through Disappointments
Life isn’t always easy. I’ve heard it said, “Choose your hard.”
Things don’t always go our way. Things don’t always happen like we think they would or should.
But even in the midst of disappointment, can you have faith? Can you keep on doing hard things?
Finish Well, Courageous One
We all stumble and fall, us humans. But, friend, I ask you this. How will you finish?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.
Hebrews 12:13 NET
If you’re reading this, then your race isn’t over.
Take courage. Hope in the Lord. And, as often as you can, lend courage. Lift up your neighbor’s arms when they are in the midst of a battle. Don’t run on your own but in unity.
Whatever your big dreams are—family related, relationship, job, ministry, a home, or a vehicle—I don’t have ten steps to make them happen, but I do encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord and take that first step. To be strong and take courage. Walk in forgiveness and grace for one another. Choose faith over fear no matter how many disappointments you face. That takes courage.
In the end, people are all we can bring with us to heaven. I have plenty of dreams, too. But the most important ones . . . they’re to see others come to know the Lord and for our lives to bring glory to the One who created us.
I hope today’s devotional on taking courage was a blessing to you. Feel free to leave me a note in the comments. I hope you’ll pause for a moment of worship with the worship song below.