One of my favourite all-time church songs is ‘Be Strong and Courageous’ by Colin Buchanan.
It’s one of those rare songs that is able to mix simplicity with depth of meaning, and it brings people of all ages together in a powerful anthem that leads us to grow our trust in the Lord.
The context of the song is the famous verse that was said by the Lord to Joshua in the time before he was to boldly lead God’s people to the Promised Land.
We know now that the story ends in victory, but for the people at the time you would have expected that there was genuine fear in the hearts of all.
To make matters worse, their trusted leader Moses had passed away, and the new leader Joshua needed to stand up and lead through a challenging time.
With all this in mind, God graciously speaks directly to Joshua, saying these words:
Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. […] This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:6-9)
When it seems hard to obey God’s good word to us, we can take these comforting words to heart: “be strong and courageous… do not be afraid or discouraged”.
When the true Lord of the universe is on our side, we should not be afraid to follow his loving rule over our lives, even if to do so seems scary.
We should be strong and very courageous, for the Lord is with us.