In the face of real danger all emotionally healthy people feel fear. The difference between the brave person and the coward is not what they feel but how the act.
This Friday night we looked at Joshua 1. Moses has died and now Joshua is in charge of leading the people across the Jordon River into the land that God has given to them. This is the same situation that the people faced in Numbers 11 and 12 when fear got the best of them and they acted in ways that were disappointing to God.
So as the book of Joshua opens we read three times in the first 9 verses the command to be strong and courageous. How can you be strong and courageous when you are afraid?
I am struck by verse 8, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your prosperous and then you will have success.”
It seems to me that in times of fear it is important what voice we hear. If we hear the voice of God which is deep in our souls we will respond differently than if that voice is not there. Of course, in order to have God’s voice deep in our souls we need to spend time meditating on it day and night. There are so many voices that compete for control of our lives. There is media (T.V. music, movies), school, our parents (even when we have not lived with them for years); all these voices telling us how to behave. With so many voices always around us God’s voice can not be heard unless we make a very intentional effort to put it in our mind by reading, thinking and memorizing it.
We live in a dangerous world. There will be times when we are all afraid. It is my prayer that the Word of God would be deep in my heart so when the danger is real and I am afraid I will respond as a brave man who loves the Lord.