Read Joshua 1:6-9
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)
Talk about repeating oneself! Three times in four verses Joshua is told to be courageous. He needs to hear such things because he is about to lead the people of God into the Promised Land and it would not be without a fight with the inhabitants of that land.
It reminds us that courage and fear coexist. If there is no threat, no fear, then courage has no meaning. For most of us, making breakfast doesn’t require courage. Yet facing major surgery does require courage. In the end, courage is having the strength and will to do what needs to be done. It does not mean absence of fear, rather it means taking note of the fear and not letting that dictate our response to the situation.
Courage can come from sheer experience. Having met one threat successfully, we can meet the next one. It can come from the encouragement, or giving courage, of others. This can come in the form of wise and helpful words, prayer, or practical actions. Above all, it comes from reminding ourselves of the God who is ultimately able to have us see his truth as the final reality not our fear-filled circumstances. Putting weight on his promises rather than the real or imagined threats facing us.
The old saying is true: courage is fear that has said its prayers.