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Foundation Truth, Number 12 (Summer 2005) | Timeless Truths Publications

A Letter About Courage

The Lord showed me some things the other day that I wanted to share with you.

It was on courage. I was first reading in Numbers 13:23-33 about the spies’ report of the land of Canaan. What made the difference between the two reports? They all ate of the fruit of Canaan. They confessed that the Lord’s promise was true: “surely it floweth with milk and honey.”* (Numbers 13:27)

I looked at the report. It was true that the people were stronger than they; it was true that there were walled cities; giant people did dwell there, and there were many nations to conquer. It is later stated (speaking of those nations) that they were “greater and mightier.”* (Deuteronomy 4:37-38) It wasn’t something to be ignored, but what did Caleb say? “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”* (Numbers 13:30)

How did he have such confidence? Had the Lord prepared them for this trial? Yes, He had promised the land to them. Right before the spies were sent out (Numbers 13:1) the Lord had again confirmed the promise, saying, “Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan which I give unto the children of Israel.”* (Numbers 13:2) And Moses, when he was telling them how to spy out the land, added, “and be ye of good courage.”* (Numbers 13:20)

In the first chapter of Joshua we see how necessary it was for them to have courage to conquer the land. The Lord says to them not once, not twice, but three times to “be strong and of a good courage.”* (Joshua 1:6,9,18) The Lord knew how vital it was. It is vital for us to “be strong and of a good courage” to be able to conquer over our enemy and claim God’s promised land.

I thought of the first part of the command: “Be strong.” God brought the verse to my mind in Ephesians where it says, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”* (Ephesians 6:10) Be strong by leaning on Him.

Next I looked at the second part: “and of a good courage.” Different times when I have read through this first chapter of Joshua, I have had a sinking feeling in my heart. God’s command to “be strong and of a good courage” seemed so huge. I tried to obey it, but always felt lacking.

As I looked at the passage again, the Lord spoke to me. “I don’t command something unless I also give you the power to do it.” I certainly didn’t feel courageous with the almost certain fact staring me in the face that I wouldn’t get through this allergy season without another attack of asthma. I stopped, considering what I was saying inside: “I don’t feel courageous.” Did God command us to feel courageous? No. So I thought, well then, what is being courageous? I looked up the word courage. I didn’t know what some of the words defining it meant so I looked them up also. Here is a summary of what I found:

courage: that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits.

intrepidity: fearlessness; fearless bravery in danger; undaunted courage or boldness.

undaunted: not subdued or depressed by fear

valor: strength of mind in regard to danger

resolution: the effect of fixed purpose; firmness, steadiness or constancy in execution, implying courage

It was so encouraging to me. The Lord had given the command to me in a bite size. All I had to do to have courage was to set my will and take a stand against the fears the devil wanted to paint in my mind—to fixedly choose to believe in God’s promises.

The Lord is so good to us. He gives us one step at a time. Like the song says, “One step at a time, you see,/Is enough for you, is enough for me.”* If we desire with all our hearts to follow Him, He will enable us, like Much-Afraid in the allegory Hinds’ Feet on High Places, to climb even the great precipice of Injury.

The enemy is greater and mightier than us. But wait a minute—God is able, with His little finger, to cast him down. Praise God!

I would appreciate your prayers in this that when the going gets tough I would set my will to have courage and trust in God. As the Lord brings you to mind, I pray for you.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”* (Ephesians 3:20-21)