“Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whither so ever thou goest.”
What if we really understood the command from God to be strong and of good courage? What exactly is “good courage” anyway? How many different kinds of courageousness are there? At first thought, most people believe there is really only one type of courage —bravery. So, I looked up the word in the dictionary and found that there are several definitions.
The definitions for courage are: bravery, nerve, pluck, valor, daring, audacity, mettle, resolution, guts. There is also: gallantry, heroism, fearlessness, boldness, spirit, lionheartedness, intrepidness, and audacious. And, this is only from one dictionary. As you can see, not all courage is good courage. Some acts of courageousness are in regards to our own ego; i.e. pluck, boldness, daring, nerve, guts. Some acts of courage are due to showmanship, such as: gallantry, lionheartedness, audaciousness.
Then there are the other acts of courage; by definition, the ones that are probably the closest to what I believe God may have meant; intrepidness, bravery, fearlessness, resolute. This kind is only achieved without thinking of yourself; and, without an awareness of self. It is the kind of courage that comes through the Holy Spirit aiding you to act in a manner unbefitting the distinctly self-centered, self-preserving, egotistical behavior normally characteristic of humanity. It is the type of courage that forces perseverance; the kind you find when you believe you cannot go any farther, yet somehow, you receive the extra strength needed to continue.
Reading through all those definitions I still wondered about the true meaning of, “good courage.” Then, I realized that the precise definition of good courage is found directly in the verse. It means to be strong (have strength), not afraid (fearless), and without dismay (resolute). —With these words in place, let’s put together a wonderful definition for being of good courage:
To be fearless and resolute, living with the strength of knowledge that God is with you wherever you go! —So, today and always; “Be of Good Courage!” L.
Study Reference: Joshua 1:9
From:"Good Courage." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Dave Allen