Be of Good Courage

Moses was told by God that he would not go into the promise land, and told to speak
to Joshua telling him to “be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of
them; for the Lord Yahweh your God, He it is that does go with you; He will not fail you,
nor forsake you.  And  Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel,
Be strong and of a good courage; for you must go with this people to the land which
the Lord Yahweh has sworn to their fathers to give them; and you shall cause them to
inherit it.  And the Lord Yahweh, He it is that does go before you; He will be with you;
fear not neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).

The Lord Yahweh reaffirms this to Joshua after Moses died, saying “there shall not
any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I
will be with you, I will not fail you, nor forsake you.  Be strong and of a good courage;
for to this people shall you divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear to their
fathers to give them.  Only be you strong and very courageous, that you may observe
to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded you, turn not from
it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5-
7).

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is continuing on in the face of fear.  Fear
contaminates your faith while courage empowers your faith.  The Bible shows us many
good examples; David as he was sent to deliver food to his brothers, and came into
the camp and heard Goliath cursing God said “is there not a cause?”  All of Israel was
afraid, but as David rehearsed what God did to the lion and the bear, he proclaimed
that God would be with him as he would fight that un-circumcised giant.  He took
courage and was able to defeat the giant and cut off his head (I Samuel 17).

Esther was made queen after queen Vashti refused to obey the king.  Esther did not
reveal that she was a Jew.  Her uncle Mordecai found out that there was a decree to
kill all the Jews in the province and reported it to Esther, telling her that even though
she was the queen, that she would not escape when it was found out; telling her to go
into the king and ask for mercy.  And even though it was forbidden to enter in to the
king without being called for, after prayer and fasting, she went in saying “if I perish, I
perish”. She was able to avoid the slaughter of the Jews (Esther 5).

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego showed their courage, King Nebuchadnezzar
made a golden image and required all to bow down and worship the image, but
Shadrah, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down; and they were threatened to
bow or burn, but they still refused, and the king had the furnace heated up 7 times
hotter then normal “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the
king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter.  If it be so,
our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He
will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king that we
will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up” (Daniel
3:16-18).  They were thrown in the furnace bound, but as the king looked in, he saw
them loosed and not burned; and along with them was “one like the Son of God”.

Daniel was a man who the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against him
but they could find none; and knowing that he worshipped only his God, tricked the
king to make a royal decree that whomsoever shall ask a petition of any god or man
for 30 days, except the king would be cast into the den of lions.  After the decree was
signed, and Daniel found out about it, he went home and opened his window and
prayed and made supplication before his God.   And because a decree made could
not be changed, Daniel was cast into the den of lions, but when the king returned the
next morning, he found Daniel not harmed, and had those who plotted this against
Daniel, cast down into the lion’s den (Daniel chapter 6).

Remember we are told to “fight the good fight of faith”; the devil will try to get you into
fear, but continue on in faith.  Boldness takes courage to press through our fears and
do what we know is right.  We can pray for this boldness like the disciples Peter and
John did; they were threatened not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, but in
Acts 4:29 they prayed “and now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant to Your
servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word”.  And after praying the
house was shaken and they spoke with boldness.

James tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations. Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).

The eternal God is our refuge, and His everlasting arms are under us.  Our courage
grows as we trust God.  Jesus told His disciples to take courage, in spite of the
inevitable struggles they would face, they would not be alone. Jesus tells us to let not
our hearts be troubled, but to take heart because He has overcome the world.

As we remember and focus on the fact that the ultimate victory has already been won,
we can claim the peace of Christ in the most troublesome times.  The early church
walked in courage, they turned their world upside down, and was strong even though
they were stoned, sawed in half and burned alive.  Their courage was so strong that
many who were witnessing their death, would come to Jesus seeing their strength.  
Paul went through many attempts to kill him, and he was after a time beheaded.  The
apostle John, the historians say that he was boiled in oil and did not die, and when
they could not kill him, he was vanished to the island of Patmos.  That is where he
wrote the book of revelation.

When God calls us and gives us a vision or dream, it is always something that in the
natural seems impossible, but as we meditate on His words, standing strong, He is
able to bring it to pass (Psalms 37:5) says “commit your way to the Lord Yahweh, trust
also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass”.  There will be times when fear will come, but
we have to take courage in-spite of our fear.  Sometimes we will have to do what is
right, even though it looks fearful.

We have to remember that “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and
of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).  As we summit ourselves to God, resist
the devil and the devil will flee from us.

Let us take courage, knowing that Jesus have given to us power to tread on serpents
and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means
hurt us (Luke 10:19).  Jesus gave us His power of attorney (John 15:7) “if you abide in
Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done to
you”.  We can use His name (Mark 16;17-18) in His name we can cast out devils,
speak with new tongues, lay hands on the sick and they will recover,

Sermon by: Harriet Bond
Date: January 4, 2009
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