Thursday, March 12, 2009


Be Strong and of a Good Courage

As a young boy I had few fears. I suppose it’s because of my personality. I was, and still am, the kind of person who likes to watch a good thunderstorm. Sometimes my lack of fear has been foolish, and I have placed myself in needless danger as a result. All fear isn’t bad. In fact, the right kind of fear is the beginning of wisdom. I remember often playing on a rail road trestle as a young boy with very little fear of the trains because I grew up close to the tracks. In my little boy mind, nothing could hurt me and I could conquer the world. Some have told me it has something to do with being first born and having red hair.

As a high school graduate I entered the Army National Guard and headed for basic training at Fort Bliss Texas. Now as a “man,” I found the world could be a scary place. This came as a big surprise to a “no-fear” kid! There were all of a sudden, many things that scared me. I was scared at the possiblity of going to Vietnam. I was sacred of my drill instructors. I was scared of all the poisonous snakes in the Texas desert. I was scared of the telephone poles I had to climb. (I was a lineman in the army) Yes, life is full of experiences that can cause us to be fearful.

Having pastored now for nearly twenty-two years, I have seen fear paralyze potential in people God could have used in greater ways. I’ve watched fear ruin relationships, hinder happiness, and sabotage success. The fear that keeps us from doing the will of God is a tool in Satan’s hand against us. The Bible is full of “fear nots.” There are enough “fear nots” in the Bible for you to have a different one each day of the year.

Yet at the same time, like me as a little boy, we often are not fearful of that which we should be. I should fear sin and situations that put me in the place of temptation. It seems for me that it is very easy to respond to fear and run from God’s revealed will when I should walk in obedient faith. And inversely it is very easy to play with temptation when I should flee even the appearance to evil. We as God’s people should be desperate to to know the difference between the two and always seek to “Be strong and of a good courage.” Anything less is to walk in unbelief.

We are currently in a series called “Be Strong and of a good courage which will be especially helpful for all those who hate it when you hear that strange sound in the night and wish you had a well-trained police dog sleeping by your side.  On Sunday, Lord willing, we will again examine the pillars of truth found in Joshua 1:5, 9 and compare them to the pillars of truth found in Isaiah 41:10. If you are reading this and you can be with us Sunday I would encourage you to read and mediate upon Joshua 1 and Isaiah 41. In the specfic verses I mentioned look for the five pillars in each text that give us reason to always “Be strong and of a good courage.”


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