January 26, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
No man shall 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 leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:5-9 NKJV.
An old drug with a new approach to treatment may be able to cure some fears. The treatment approach involves reactivating a fear or phobia, and then taking the drug, which in their experiments with spiders appears to work. Of course, whether that will actually work with phobias, PTSD, and other fears has yet to be proved. Wouldn't it be nice whenever you are fearful just pop a pill and you become fearless? Isn't that what a lot of people are trying to do already with alcohol, meth, cocaine, pot, and the list goes on? Still, it would be nice to have some help for our fears.
As I have grown older, I have come to realize it takes courage to live life. It takes courage sometimes to get out of bed in the mornings, put on our clothes, and go to work. It takes courage when our knees or hips are hurting to walk across the room, much less leave the house to do anything. It takes courage to have a surgery when you know there will be so much pain involved. It takes courage to go through a course of chemo, or endure radiation treatment for cancer. It takes courage to live life.
To overcome our fears, we first need to realize that fear is an emotional response, and the courage we need to overcome it is an attitude. Courage is a decision that we make. God told Joshua as he faced leading a huge number of people across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land to “Be strong and of good courage.” Joshua needed courage because he knew that ahead lay the fortress city of Jericho, and he also knew there were giants in the land, which he had seen with his own eyes. We know God provided Joshua with the courage he needed to face the giants, and He can do the same for us.
To have courage we need to use the resources that God provides to develop and nurture that courage. The number one God given resource for developing and nurturing courage is the Word of God. God tells Joshua “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth.” Speaking God's Word, reciting memory verses out loud, will help to develop and nurture your courage. God also tells Joshua that “you shall meditate in it (God's Word) day and night.” The best way to do that is to have verses of Scripture memorized so that you can review them in your mind. And God tells Joshua to “observe to do according to all that is written in it (God's Word).” Speak, think, and do the Word of God, and godly courage will be developed and nurtured in your life; and, “you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” God is saying the same thing to you today that He said to Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”