“Be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:7, NLT) God said to Joshua. These are the kinds of instructions you receive when something risky or dangerous lies ahead. For Joshua, taking possession of the promised land would not be like taking a stroll through Disneyland, where all the thrill and adventure are preset to come out with a positive outcome. In other words, you don’t need strength and courage to go to Disneyland (unless you are deathly afraid of roller coasters). Nevertheless, the point is clear, God calls us to have courageous trust when we are on the brink of something great–something He is calling us to.
“Courageous trust” might sound like some higher form of faith, for the instances that necessitate greater degrees of bravery, but at the core of faith in God is courage–no matter to what degree! Trusting God is the courageous choice. But that also doesn’t mean that trusting God borders on irrationality. What could possibly be wiser and more prudent than trusting God? (Crickets.) Nothing! So, why could it sometimes be scary to take God at His word? Answers may vary, but they all boil down to the same gist.
It can be scary to trust God as our source of strength because that means that the answer lies outside of ourselves and not within ourselves.
But maybe that’s what also makes trusting God liberating. We don’t have to be our own source of strength. (You might need to read that again!) We don’t need to muster up the courage to take on what lies before us as if we have the capabilities within ourselves to manufacture courage. Yet, we have an inexhaustible fountain gushing forth from a God who is eager and willing to equip and empower us for the very tasks that He calls us to accomplish for our good and His glory.
Imagine what would happen if your whole community took God at His word and leaned into Him for courage. What possibilities that once seemed impossible would now become possible? After all, no “promised land” ever is conquered without the initial courage to take God at His word–faith–we might call it.