Courage: being brave, overcoming fear; the quality of being fearless in the face of danger, difficulty, uncertainty or fear.

Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Every imagination of the heart of men was on evil continually in Noah’s day. It grieved God. The day we live in is that way. God is grieved that people aren’t thinking about his way. Noah preached to others and tried to warn them. God gave him a job to build an ark 450 feet long and 3 stories high. He cut down trees and prepared the boards by hand. He gave Noah the courage to do it. Noah was in the ark with all the animals for just over a year after God shut him in. God gave wisdom to clean up after and feed the animals. Noah offered sacrifice and worshiped God as soon as he got out of the ark.

Genesis 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man…and it grieved him at his heart.

God led the Israelites out of Egypt by a pillar of cloud in the day and by a pillar of fire at night (Exodus 13:21-22). He made a way to escape the Egyptian army through the Red Sea. All the people saw the miracles. When they arrived at Canaan, Joshua sent spies to see the land God promised to give them. All except two brought a bad report because they were afraid. God was angry when they spoke against Moses and about returning to Egypt. He said those who were twenty years or older (Numbers 14:27-29) would wander 40 years and die in the wilderness. There were 600,000 men (20 years old or more, Numbers 11:21). In the 40 years – 14,600 days about 42 people died each day in the wilderness. When Joshua and the people came to Canaan the second time, they were grieving that Moses and others had died. God told Joshua to lead the people into Canaan. He said he’d be with him as he was with Moses. He commanded him to be strong and very courageous. Some things God asks us to do take lots of courage. It isn’t easy to have courage because the enemy is fighting.

Joshua 1:1-3 Now after the death of Moses…the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them…Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Joshua 1:4-9 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto…the river Euphrates, all the land…unto the great sea… shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers…Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou…do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 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.

When fear comes, we need to trust God and have courage, no matter if our physical body is trembling. When you’re in a hard battle, you need to believe what God says and meditate on it day and night. We must guard our mind against fear and worry. We have to meditate like we should so we can trust and have peace to do what God says. If we can’t do anything to change situations, we need to change our meditation to something else. If we meditate on problems, we won’t be in a happy mood or be confident to trust God. We’ll have good success and be prosperous if we meditate on the right things and trust God. It’s a command to have courage, not an option we can choose if we want to.

Psalm 56:3-4 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Joshua sent spies into Jericho where Rahab said they all knew about the victories given and that God had given the Israelites the land. God can take courage or give courage. He took courage that was against the Israelites from those in Jericho so their hearts melted. He gave courage to the Israelites so they went into Jericho and had victory.

Joshua 2:4-12 And the woman took the two men…up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax…And before they were laid down, she came…And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites…whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man…for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Now …since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:

When the king of Assyria came against Jerusalem, king Hezekiah encouraged the people. He strengthened himself to fight the enemy by doing what he could. He stopped the water supply, repaired the broken wall, prepared weapons and got the army ready. The enemy brings fear but Hezekiah said there were more with them than with the enemy. How big is your God? Whatever battles we fight, the people that come against us only have the arm of flesh. We need to have confidence and rest in the knowledge that God will help us fight and give victory.

II Chronicles 32:4-8 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through…the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken…and made darts and shields in abundance. And he set captains of war over the people…and spake comfortably to them, saying, Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude…with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord…to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king…

The Assyrians spoke against the Israelites like a roaring lion, but God sent an angel that slew the Assyrian army of 185,000 men. The Israelites didn’t even have to fight. Many times the Lord comes to help us at the last minute.

II Chronicles 32:18-21 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem…to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man. And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah…prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

The king of Syria thought someone was telling the Israelites his tactics. His servants told him that God was telling the king of Israel what the king said in his bedroom. It was God who was telling Elisha the king of Syria’s plans. When a great Syrian army surrounded Jerusalem, Elisha’s servant was afraid. Elisha prayed God would open his eyes and then he saw horses and chariots of fire around the city. God wants us to keep our eyes on him and his promises. We have to trust God with all our heart, to be strong, and to keep courage that God will help us.

II Kings 6:11-17 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled…he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said…my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he …a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and…an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)