Be strong and very courageous. (Josh. 1:7)

GOD OBVIOUSLY HAD A MESSAGE He wanted to be sure Joshua understood. He said it three times in only four verses: “Be strong and courageous.” In verse 7, he added the word very: “Be strong and very courageous.”

Later in chapter 1, the people, promising to follow Joshua and give him the same loyalty they gave Moses, repeated the message back to their leader: “Be strong and courageous.”

In chapter 10, we find Joshua using those same words to encourage the people further: “Be strong and courageous.”

When revolution was brewing in the United States in the mid-1770s, and delegates to the Continental Congress were preparing to sign the Declaration of Independence, wealthy Maryland planter Charles Carroll stepped forward to take his turn. Other men by the name of Charles Carroll lived in the colonies at the time, including his own father, who lived in Annapolis. To avoid any confusion, he boldly signed his name, “Charles Carroll of Carrollton.”

The signers knew if their cause failed, the British government would track them down as traitors. But he courageously signed anyway.

You may or may not be asked to sign on the dotted line, but are you willing to commit publicly to being a Christ-follower? None of us is as courageous as we ought to be without God’s help. But remember, He is with you and will give you strength.

Ask God to give you His strength and courage for a difficult task.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.