Fear vs CourageCourage and Fear are quite different.
Fear is something that happens to us. It is caused by circumstances and pressure. It is often involuntary and irrational. Things happen and we feel fear - often at a very basic instinctive level. When the door slams shut, when the lion roars or when something goes "bump" in the night, our adrenal systems kick into high gear preparing us for fight or flight.
Courage on the other hand, is more of a choice than an instinct. We don't feel courage like we feel fear. We choose courage. We make a decision to face our fears. Courage does not cancel out or dilute fear. Being strong means that we push through fear. We work around and in spite of fear.
Forty years previously fear and a grass-hopper mentality caused the nation to listen to the ten fearful spies instead of Joshua and Caleb. This resulted in forty years of wandering in the desert... Now Joshua and the people find themselves at the border again. Nothing has changed on the other side of the Jordan. It's still the same cities, the same topography and the same enemies.
But God calls Joshua to be strong and courageous...
Be strong and courageous. Choose to face your fears. Choose to endure your circumstances. Choose to keep going and not quit or run. Step up and report for duty. Do what it takes, but keep moving.
Courage is not the absence of fear or even the opposite of it.
Courage and Strength are decisions we make in spite of our fears.
In just three verses God tells Joshua three times over:
"Be Strong and Courageous."
Joshua had to choose and so must we...
(Tomorrow we'll look at a few things that help us to be strong and courageous.)
|"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua1:6-9)|