Be strong and of good courage

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9, KJV)

As Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land and engage in battle, God gave their leader, Joshua, unusual commands to prepare for the upcoming tasks. Instead of asking Joshua to ramp up his military, He told him to be strong, courageous, and pay attention to His Word. Let’s briefly examine what it means to be strong and of good courage.

To better understand this phrase, it is important to introduce the idea of the sphere of strength here. This instruction was a personalized command to Joshua. As an individualized command, there were two main spheres of strength. The first one is the one that many of us are familiar with—physical strength. This strength of body can be developed by building muscles. Although physical strength is important for battle, this is not what God had in mind in this verse.

Rather than strength of body, the Lord was concerned about the strength of heart. Just as the body can be strong or weak, our hearts can be strong or weak. The verse explains very clearly what God meant by strength here: courage of heart.

The two words “be strong” and “of good courage” essentially refer to the same thing looked at differently. Courage is the ability to face and deal with danger and difficulty without fear or flinching. If there was one thing God needed from Joshua, it was not a big military or many chariots. It was for him to be strong in heart to do what God wanted him to do.

Also, note that God gave Joshua the reason to be strong in his battles: God Himself would be with him. It was not positive thinking or wishing things turn out well. God Himself would fight his battles if he would be strong to face the enemy.

Just as God commanded Joshua to be strong before the battle in the land of Canaan, He has commanded us to be strong in spiritual warfare:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10–11, KJV)

Here’s God’s command for you today as you face any battles in your body, marriage, family, spiritual lives, finances, etc.:

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”.


Please think on Joshua 1:9 above: ponder and mutter every word as you go from the start to the end of the verse.

Apply the Word

Are you a strong or weak Christian? How is your heart? Allow the Lord to strengthen your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit( Ephesians 3:16).


Ask the Spirit to help you muster strength of heart to face and defeat any challenging situations in your life.

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