Be 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)
WHEN I WAS MEMORIZING THIS VERSE 60 years ago, it went deep, to the bone. One of the benefits of memorizing Scripture verses is that they must be repeated 4-5 times a day, written 4-5 times a day…for a month or so. Repeat and write a verse until it flows out of your mouth or from your pen without hesitation.
THIS EXEERCISE HARNESSES THE MIND and forces it into meditation on what is being said. Ninety times, the Bible says: “Be of good courage.” If you speak: “Be of good courage” five times a day and write “Be of good courage” five times a day, in a few days your inner being is going to get the idea that it is proper to “Be of good courage.” If you say and write: “fizzle and fail” five times for a month, that’s what you will do.
PEOPLE IN BIBLE TIMES WERE PEOPLE JUST LIKE WE ARE TODAY. If you cut them, they bled red blood. They got hungry and thirsty and sleepy…just like we do today. Joshua was the leader of an army commissioned by the God of Heaven and yet Joshua had to be encouraged to be strong, to be not afraid, to be not dismayed (down in the dumps). The biggest thing he was to remember was that God was with him everywhere he went. If Joshua needed to be reminded of that, do you think it strange that you don’t always feel like wrestling with a big black bear?
ONE DAY AS I WAS ROUTINELY GOING OVER the above verse, it struck me forcefully that the Bible never says: “Go ye out and be ye weak.” The Bible never says: “Go ye out and fall flat on your face.” The Bible never says: “Go ye out and make a mess out of your life.” The Bible says 100 times: “shall not be ashamed.” The Bible says 90 times: be of good courage. But, God is going to test your mettle! You will need to be encouraged. You will need someone to tell you the sun will come up in the morning!
IT'S GOOD TO HANG AROUND PEOPLE WHO THINK IT CAN BE DONE, who don’t mind stepping in mud. Stepping in mud can be good for you. When I was in my teens, twice a day I had to carry a bucket of slop through the gate and pour it into a trough in a muddy lot while 2-3 old grumpy, squealing, impatient, 180-pound hogs would rush up to me and would often run their nose under the bottom edge of the bucket and boot it up, filling my boot with slop. That’s a real character builder! After that, everything I did was easier than slopping hogs. I had to tell myself, “This won’t last forever.” Today, I have to thank the Lord for letting me slop the hogs. I found this verse: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2Timothy 2:3)
IF YOU'RE HAVING A HARD TIME, GOD KNOWS ABOUT IT. LEAN ON HIM. Thank Him for the many good things you have, in spite of the tough things you don’t like.
WHEN GOD MAKES A MUSHROOM, IT ONLY TAKES A FEW DAYS and the mushroom will only last a few days. When God makes a big White Oak tree, it takes 40-50 years; longer than making a mushroom. We’ve got a sturdy White Oak rocking chair in our living room that’s probably 150 years old and still rocks good and looks nice. It will probably be in good shape when my grandchildren are as old as I am. Not a mushroom. God made you for a purpose and it may not be comfy some days. Winter will come several times. But your job is to bloom where you’re planted and bring glory to God by the way you show you belong to Him. God is watching and He will make the reward worthwhile. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 2, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 33-35 P.M. Titus 3
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A Good Verse to Memorize:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
Song for Today:
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (3:16) The Nathaniel Dett Acapella Chorale. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) Canada’s First Professional group dedicated to Afrocentric Music… The director, Moses Hogan, takes a minute of his time explaining what the choir is going to do. Then we have 2 minutes and 16 seconds of great music! This is barbershop-close harmony, true Negro Spiritual style.
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I LOOKED HARD TO FIND THE BEST GROUP TO SING: Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. Some of the groups really mess it up and disrespect the song. Not acceptable. This was a favorite in the young men’s dorm at Tenn. Temple and before lights were out, sometimes a small group of fellows would put their heads together and sing this and other Negro Spirituals. It was uplifting and brings back a lot of memories. Dr. Roberson brought the Eureka Jubilee Singers, a black group, to Temple several times and they were one of the best-loved groups I remember. My three sons and I used to love singing some of the Negro Spirituals and keep time by snapping our fingers: Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot was our favorite.