Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Be strong and of good courage…be stablished in the faith.

Joshua 1:6,7,9  “Be strong and of a good courage:…”

      “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law….turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

     “Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage;  be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Duet. 31: 6, 23 (first to Israel) “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them:   the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee;  He will not fail thee, not forsake thee.”

(then to Joshua) ” And He gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.”

It seemed odd to me that courage was only spoken of in the Old Testament.   

        But courage means “to be alert, steadfastly minded, stablished”…and as Christians,  we have been called to be stablished in the faith.

Colossians 2:6-7 “As ye have therefore recieved Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him:

        Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

At least six times Joshua was told to be strong….and.. to be alert, steadfastly minded, stablished….in the Word of God….and in faith that God will do as He said.

         He had the job of leading Israel over Jordan and leading them in conquering the promised land.  There were many temptations, enemies, and trials….

…..but he was to be strong…not afraid or dismayed.   

         This is internal.  Fear  is a snare, and to be dismayed is to stop looking to God’s Almightiness….but to our failures. (Joshua 7:6-13)

And he was to be courageous.  He was to remain alert…and be stedfast and stablished in obeying the Word of God, in which he was to ” meditate therein day and night” (Joshua 1:8)

When David gave Solomon charge to build the house of the Lord,  he said concerning the work:

1 Chronicles 22:13 “Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with  concerning Israel:  be strong, and of good courage;  dread not, nor be dismayed.”

(You will notice that strength and courage…being established in the faith…has to do with our “taking heed” to the Word of God…and trusting in the Lord)

In Corinthians 16:13 we are told to:

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

There are four things we are to do:

    “Watch ye”…remain alert.  There are many warnings in the Bible….and we are to be alert to the Holy Spirit, for He will warn us of things to come. 

“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13) 

    “Stand fast in the faith”….we are not “beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26)….or running in circles…but we are to “run with patience the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;…”(Hebrews 12:1-2).

   We are to “Be ye also patient;  stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”(James 5:8)     We are to fulfill the work that the Lord gives us….and working to possess the promises He give us, for ourselves and others.

    “Quit you like men”.   Let us not continue as babes in the faith….but go on from “the sincere milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:2)…which helps us grow in grace…

…to become adults…

    “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,   even those who;  by reason of use   have their senses exercised   to discern both good and evil.”(Hebrews 5:13-14)

    “Be strong”….”be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIs might” (Ephesians 6:10)  We are to be strong in the Lord….getting the grace we need for each situation…

We are to  hold  the ground that the Lord has won for us, and given each of us to stand on…our place in HIs kingdom.

   “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13) 

2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 “Therefore, brethren, stand fast,…

        Now  our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlating consolation and good hope through grace,

        Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”

First, we are to be established in the faith.  What exactly does that mean?   Does not every Christian have faith?   Yes, for it is a gift from God.   Faith removes mountains, and shields us in the battle, and takes us through the darkest night into the light.  Faith does that….in us,  then wonderfully it works through us, into the circumstances of this day.

        But  to be established in it, is to know that we can not do anything that will please God, if faith is not in it.   We are to always be looking to the Lord….for faith, even weak faith, looks to Him.

         (It is true….and I think of this often….

                   Oft upon the Rock I tremble

                       Faint of heart, and weak of knee,

                   But the Steadfast Rock of Ages,

                       Never trembles under me! )

We are to use our faith in God, for He is Truth…and in the Lord Jesus Christ,  for He is our Redeemer and Life….and in the Holy Spirit, for He is our Helper and Guide.

Then we are to be established in  our hearts.  And the only true foundation for our affections and emotions is Christ Jesus.  “I held Him and would not let Him go…” (Song of Solomon 3:4)   

        (It is true…that it is not our hold on Him that saves….but His hold on us.  But when it comes to being established [courageous], we must hang on to Him in our affections….not letting every emotion which comes decide our course of action or thought.  “…It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;…” Hebrews 13:9)

And then,  we are to be established in every good word and work.    We are to read, and  know the scriptures, and  hear what they say to us….and be obedient…..and then speak His Word faithfully….to those we are responsible for.

To Joshua, the Lord said, “Have I not commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage;  be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  (Joshua 1:9)

To us, the Lord says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

          Whom resist steadfastly in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

          But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto HIs eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:8-10)

The Lord calls you be strong in Him, and to be courageous or established on the Rock of our Salvation.

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