When the Lord calls us to face the unknown and conquer new territory, Bible verses for strength and courage can help us overcome the spirit of fear!
Reading Joshua chapter 1 encouraged me to step out on faith recently and made me wonder: Where else in the Bible are God’s people told to be strong and courageous?
Obviously, the Lord would not tell us to be strong and courageous if it were impossible!
But how do we do that?
In this article, we will answer the following questions in verses about courage and strength:
- How many times does the Bible say to be strong and courageous?
- What is the meaning of the “be strong and courageous” Bible verses in Joshua?
- What does the Bible say about being strong and courageous?
How many times does the Bible say to be strong and courageous?
The Bible says to be strong and courageous 13 times in various forms. In addition to “be strong and courageous”, variations of the phrase include “be strong and of good courage” and “be strong and very courageous.”
While the Lord gave individuals this command directly in some cases, in others courageous people exhorted those around them to be strong and courageous too.
What is the meaning of the “be strong and courageous” Bible verses in Joshua?
Because our ultimate goal in life is to finish our race well in Jesus Christ, it is important to stand up to life pressures and conquer our fears with His help.
Joshua chapter 1 is a great chapter to meditate on in this regard.
In the chapter, Moses has died and now Joshua, his second in command, is responsible for leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land.
However, God’s people would have to fight the enemies who already occupied the land and drive them out. Not an easy task!
The Lord spoke to Joshua directly to remind him that the land was theirs to possess. He also gave Joshua a promise from the start:
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.”– Joshua 1:5-7
The Lord assured Joshua that he would have the ability to stand up against any enemy. Not only that but his success was guaranteed: The Lord would be with Joshua and promised to never leave nor forsake him.
A priceless promise!
The Lord is the basis of our confidence too because He is:
- Omnipresent (ever-present)
- Omnipotent (all-powerful)
- Omniscient (all-knowing)
Just like with Joshua, whatever resource is needed to meet the moment, the Lord provides it.
After God gave Joshua promises, He gave him the plan for obtaining them:
Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:6-9
The more we study and meditate upon God’s word in our daily lives, the more it sharpens our Spiritual vision. We can start to see life the way God sees it and appropriate opportunities to apply God’s word so that we can receive its blessings.
Notice that the words “be strong and of good courage” were not a request but a command! Why are strength and courage needed when facing the unknown?
Let’s look at the definition of both words:
Why Strength is Needed
Strength is defined as the ability to withstand great force or pressure. Consider these promises from God regarding strength:
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’– Isaiah 41:10
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.– 2 Corinthians 12:9
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,– Ephesians 3:16
God’s word tells us the source of our strength: We have God’s presence with us and His Spirit in us!
Why Courage is Needed
Courage is defined as the ability to act in spite of fear.
Just the other day, I was imagining a conversation that the Lord might have with someone who sees fear as a reason to avoid doing what the Lord has called them to do:
Fearful Person: “I know you told me to do this but I’m scared.”
The Lord: “And?”
Fearful Person: “I’m scared’.’
The Lord: “And?”
The Fearful Person: “But I’m REALLY scared.”
The Lord: “And?”
In my imagined conversation, the Lord was expecting the fearful person to tell the rest of the story: We never face fear alone because God promises that He is with us.
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham.”– Hebrews 2:14-16 (New Living Translation)
The Lord’s perfect love for us casts out fear:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.– 1 John 4:18
The Lord’s perfect love assures us of His perfect care, which means His presence, provision, and protection.
As you take the step of faith in obedience, the Lord will supply the courage to take the next step needed, with Him by your side!
What does the Bible say about being strong and courageous?
Here are some Bible verses about courage and strength that will help you to take up the shield of faith when you must face the unknown. I recommend reviewing each of these scriptures and the circumstances under which they were spoken:
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”– Deuteronomy 31:6
Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.– Deuteronomy 31:7
Then He inaugurated Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.”– Deuteronomy 31:23
Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.– Joshua 1:6
Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.– Joshua 1:7
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:9
Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”– Joshua 1:18
Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”– Joshua 10:25
Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”– 2 Samuel 10:12
Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”– 1 Chronicles 19:13
Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.– 1 Chronicles 22:13
And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.– 1 Chronicles 28:20
“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him.– 2 Chronicles 32:7
I hope these scriptures have given you the strength and courage to withstand the pressures of life and do what the Lord calls you to do.
What a tragedy to miss out on the blessings the Lord has for you – all because you believed the enemy’s lies and choose to remain stuck.
If the Lord says you can have it, then do not settle for less.
Get up, get out, and go get it!
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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