“Be Strong & Courageous”:  Why Are We Still Afraid?

“Be Strong & Courageous”: Why Are We Still Afraid?

Why are we still afraid?
Every one of the more than 400 days I spent in combat, I wore a chain necklace with my dog tags and a small silver shield. On the back of the shield was inscribed the popular scripture from Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
 
Picture in your mind the setting of these words. Moses had passed away, and the Lord was passing the burden of leadership to his faithful servant, Joshua. Telling Joshua and the Israelites to “get ready” (Joshua 1:2), “Be Strong & Courageous” is a famous command of reassurance. In fact, God speaks it to Joshua 3 times in the first 9 verses of the book.
 
Did you know that David uses the same admonition to Solomon?
 
After receiving God’s guidance, when giving Solomon the task of building the temple in Jerusalem, David instructs his young son, as recorded in 1 Chronicles 22: “…You will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
Image result for jesus' hand reaching out
Christ frequently reassures his disciples with the same words: “Do not be afraid” and “Take heart.”
In John 16:33, after speaking to his disciples about his death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
With the same disciples showing surprise and bewilderment, seeing Jesus walk on the surface of the water, Christ says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).
There are so many biblical examples of man receiving the reassuring command, from God, to not fear, take heart, be strong and courageous.
Why are we still afraid?
Image result for be strong and courageous
We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away
Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord
We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight
The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous
Casting Crowns, “Courageous”
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