‘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,’ God’s words to Joshua.
One lesson learnt from this year is that courage, in God’s eyes is not necessarily courage in the sense of being a brave mighty warrior in human standards, but is more about standing on God’s word and stepping on the waters like Peter, Paul and Silas like Joshua or even like Abigail.
In today’s culture courage is often seen as being brutishly fearless. However, Proverbs 29: 19-23 warns that we are less effective in that form of courage, especially when manifested by hasty words or actions. Instead, Solomon’s divine advice is that if we wish to reach others, delicate guidance is more effective. That was the lesson powerfully demonstrated by Abigail who courageously stepped forth and essentially stopped a full-scale war by one careful act of hospitality and grace.
When I asked Brigaders to share what struck them from our New Testament studies last year, one answer was, ‘the level of the believer’s faith.’ Christ nurtured flawed servants like Peter and Paul by patiently curbing their brutish inclinations and revealing Christ’s divine ways and purposes. Hence, it is no wonder that Joshua’s command to be courageous was preceded by God’s admonition that Joshua should remain steadfast in the study of God’s word, trust God and then God would ensure that he was successful. You see when we are willing to trust the voice of God and step out God gives us the courage to do great things. My prayer today is that we too can be the Abigail, Joshua, Peter, Paul and Silas’s of today, remain steadfast in God’s promises and courageously act in faith knowing that ‘God will be with you.’