March 4, 2021
A Pastor that I worked with many years ago would, on occasion, ask me, “Well Jason, how’s your courage today?” That was the first time I remember being asked that question, and I would like to ask you today, “How’s your courage?”
We are living in interesting times: pandemics, lock-downs, political strife, rumors of wars, and more. We are living in a time when people who know the truth about the Father and the Son are divided on doctrines such as feast keeping, flat earth, the divinity of Christ, what sin is, whether or not God kills, and the list could go on. We are a small group compared to the corporate Seventh-day Adventist church, and many of us meet only on Zoom due to a lack of believers in our local area. With all these challenges present, “How is your courage?”
In Joshua chapter one, we have the Lord speaking to Joshua giving him a command:
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
Can we be of good courage when it looks like everything is against us? The Lord has answered for us, “Yes. You can be strong and of good courage.” What is the reason given? “For the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” In the book of Romans it says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” So, yes, we can be of good courage, even when it looks like everything is against us.
Why was the Lord with Joshua, to give him such encouragement?
And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. Deuteronomy 34:9
We see here that Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, and thus did as the Lord had commanded him. This is the same spirit of wisdom that Jesus had:
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:2
Is this spirit of wisdom available to only Jesus and leaders in the church? No. We see that the spirit of wisdom is available to all believers. James counseled the brethren to simply ask for it in faith:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
And Paul prayed that God would bless the believers at Ephesus with this same wisdom:
15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him… Ephesians 1:15-17
You and I, brothers and sisters, can be strong and of good courage, when the spirit of wisdom is given unto us by our Father in heaven.
Ellen White, in the book, “Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings,” beautifully explains how we can be filled with the Holy Spirit without measure:
The words of God are the wellsprings of life. As you seek unto those living springs you will, through the Holy Spirit, be brought into communion with Christ. Familiar truths will present themselves to your mind in a new aspect, texts of Scripture will burst upon you with a new meaning as a flash of light, you will see the relation of other truths to the work of redemption, and you will know that Christ is leading you, a divine Teacher is at your side. MB 20.1
Jesus said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14. As the Holy Spirit opens to you the truth, you will treasure up the most precious experiences and will long to speak to others of the comforting things that have been revealed to you. When brought into association with them you will communicate some fresh thought in regard to the character or the work of Christ. You will have some fresh revelation of His pitying love to impart to those who love Him and to those who love Him not. MB 20.2
“Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38); for the word of God is “a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams of Lebanon” (Song of Solomon 4:15). The heart that has once tasted the love of Christ, cries out continually for a deeper draft, and as you impart you will receive in richer and more abundant measure. Every revelation of God to the soul increases the capacity to know and to love. The continual cry of the heart is, “More of Thee,” and ever the Spirit’s answer is, “Much more.” Romans 5:9, 10. For our God delights to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20. To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling. Our Lord Himself has given the command, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and this command is also a promise of its fulfillment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should “all the fullness dwell,” and “in Him ye are made full.” Colossians 1:19 , R.V.; 2:10, R.V. MB 20.3
It is a joy to meditate on these thoughts. Brothers and sisters be strong and of good courage. Surrender your whole heart to Christ and the promise is sure, “in Him ye are made full.” What happened after the Lord told Joshua to be strong and of good courage? Joshua trusted in the Lord, and not even the Jordan river hindered the people of God from crossing over to the other side. How’s your courage?