Did you know that the phrase ‘Be strong and courageous’ occurs 16 times in the Bible? What could be so important about this command that it is repeated so many times? Here are a few examples showing the different flavours of this command.
When General Joab was surrounded by enemies in front, and behind, he said:
12 Be strong, and let us be courageous for the sake of our people, and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” (2 Sam 10)
Joab reminds his people to use their strength to fight for the sake of the people of God. Their courage, regardless of the outcome, allowed God’s appointed good to come. We too, as soldiers of Christ, must be courageous despite the outcome.
When King David handed his rule over to Solomon he gave the following command.
“Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. (1 Chron 28:20)
For Solomon being strong and courageous meant not succumbing to his fears and confusion but to act. We too must act; using our strength and fuelled by courage and confidence in the knowledge of God’s presence, character, and faithfulness. This courage must be ours for we too are building God’s temple …… one person at a time.
13 Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Cor 16)