"I command you -- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever I go."
-- Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
We look in awe at the brave men and women we read and hear about. We wonder how they could be so courageous.
Brave men and women know that courage is not a badge of honor worn on the outside of a uniform. It is an attitude of the heart that you refuse to let go of regardless of your feelings of fear.
Joshua was a servant of the Lord, who was appointed to lead the Israelites into the promised land. But Joshua felt he lacked courage to fulfill his duty as a leader.
Then he heard God's voice speak to his heart, "be strong and courageous!" God was encouraging Joshua to overlook his feelings of fear and step out in faith and do what he was called to do.
God promised that he would be with him, to give the support he needed. Our "promised land" is the promise of God to fulfill a desire that lies deep within out hearts.
We may long to make a difference in our family, neighborhood, workplace, or church. But in order to achieve this, it may require us to confront a situation, discipline a child, or start something new.
We may not feel brave enough to do this. Oftentimes, our adverse circumstances cause us to feel weak-willed and unable to carry on. We're not sure we have enough confidence or courage to face the devil of adversity, ridicule or temptation.
We must trust God's love for us and take the courage that is provided deep within our hearts.
Setting our minds on God's words to Joshua can help us to resist the emotion of fear that threatens to get in our way; we can conquer our obstacles and reach the promise and dream given to us by holding onto the fact we are strong and courageous.
Reminding ourselves of this on a daily basis can help us to stir up the courage in our hearts, to grow our character and make a difference.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Need to boost your prayer life? Join Annettee at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Panera Bread, 555 E. Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach. Registration is preferred due to limited seating, but not required. Contact Annettee at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413.