“The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart.” So wrote Robert Ingersoll, a veteran of the Civil War, a political leader, a lawyer, and a powerful orator.
When Moses, Israel’s great leader, died, he left the business of getting into the Promised Land to his successor – a man named Joshua. In the first chapter of the Biblical book named for him, Joshua is told four times to “be strong and courageous.” Three times he is told this by God. One time his people tell him that they will follow him wherever he leads, but that he needs to “be strong and courageous.”
Joshua had reason to be discouraged. He was following a popular and powerful leader. Would God speak to him with the same clarity God had spoken to Moses? And the people were willing to follow him at first; would their allegiance continue, or would they moan and bicker as they had at times under Moses’ leadership?
The wealthiest, the smartest, the poorest, the healthiest and the sickest among us experience discouragement at times. We will be talking about this more at our Facetime Live Bible Study on Thursday evening at 9. For today, in moments of discouragement, I pray that someone will whisper into your ear, speak it into your spirit or shout it to you as you run the race set before you: Be strong and courageous!
And maybe you will be called upon to offer those words of encouragement to someone else today.
A blessed Tuesday.