Courage is a virtue that we need in order to serve and love God. Below are two texts which speak of the need for courage.
Joshua 1:6-9, “6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Mark 15:43 says this about Joseph of Arimathea,
“43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”
God’s Law given to Moses informs us about the moral will of God. God’s Law reveals how we should live before God and our neighbor. We must be informed about what is good in order for us to be courageous.
The meaning of courage is to be strong, to be alert, and it is often coupled with the command to not be afraid. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10:28 that we should not fear man who can only kill the body. We should instead fear and reverence God who is the judge of all people, the God who can destroy both body and soul. It took godly courage for Joseph of Arimathea to ask for the body of Jesus. He knew the risks of asking for a proper burial for a man who had been condemned and executed on a cross. Joseph knew that the governing authorities might begin watching him and keeping tabs on him. It took nerve and backbone, but he remembered his higher responsibility before God to do what was right and to give someone a dignified burial. He swallowed hard and did what he believed to be right.
One last thing to remember about courage is that we are dependent upon the Lord for the cultivation of this virtue, and we need to cry out to the Lord for strength to serve Him no matter the danger.
The apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:10,
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
We cannot serve the Lord in our strength or our might. Peter vowed that he would never disown Christ, and yet he fell flat on his face! We absolutely need God’s grace and mercy to take away our blind spots, like Peter’s. Having the courage to repent of our sins of cowardice and the fear of what man might think of us or do to us will bolster our reliance on the might of God. Be strong and very courageous!