The Necessity of Strength and Courage

Reading Level: Gratifying

We have all heard stories of people who displayed incredible strength and courage in the midst of dangerous or hopeless situations. Heroes, whether mythical or in real life, are examples of strength and courage. However, we rarely picture ourselves as being one of those people.

Yet the events of our lives necessitate the qualities of strength and courage. It is terrible for a person to live in a state of fear, without peace. Fear disables one’s ability to make effective decisions, hinders personal relationships, and creates harmful chemicals in the body that promote illness and disease. In fact, God repeatedly expresses to His people the need to be strong and courageous. God said through Moses, one of His most famous spokespersons, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified … for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6).” Later God advised Joshua as he began his new career, “Be strong and courageous. Be strong and very courageous. (Jos. 1:6,7).” The need for strength and courage is so important that God not only repeated it, but repeated it with the added emphasis of “very” strong and courageous!

Let’s take a look at exactly what strength and courage are?

In the original Hebrew, the word “strong” means to fortify, be constant, be established, be sure, behave oneself valiantly, withstand. This definition gives the mental image of a mighty fortress, something that cannot be moved by attacks or difficulties. When one is strong, life’s tests, difficulties, and even tragedies do not move us; they do not make us fall apart.

The word “courageous” is described as to be alert physically or mentally in courage, be of good courage, steadfastly minded, prevail.(1) A courageous person, as opposed to one overcome by fear, is even keel as well as physically and mentally alert so he can quickly respond with effective actions and decisions. He also has a perspective of overcoming, of victory and success.

It is easy to see the necessity of living life with strength and courage. The next important point to discover is where do strength and courage come from?

From the Deuteronomy quote, God says that one should be strong and courageous due to the knowledge that “the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Your knowledge of God’s commitment to you and His presence with you are what give you strength and courage. The more you know and understand God’s commitment to you and the depth of the love it is based on, the greater awareness you have of His presence, the better you are enabled to function in a state of being “strong and very courageous.”

Now let’s take it up a notch! God instructs us to be strong and “very” courageous. In the Hebrew, “very” means properly, vehemently, wholly, speedily, intensively, diligently, exceedingly, greatly. You may have never imagined yourself strong and courageous, but now I want you to visualize yourself as vehemently, intensively, exceedingly courageous. God wouldn’t encourage you to live at this level if it were not possible and if He were not going to help you reach that goal.

As with any change, it starts with a choice. Make a choice to give up fear and all its destructive side effects. Start seeing yourself as one of those heroes you hear about. Learn all you can of God’s commitment to you.  That knowledge will enable you to be strong and very courageous!

(1) Definitions from Strong’s Dictionary of Old Testament Words

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