Day 20: Words that Bring Strength and Courage

Devotional: Applying the Bible to my today.

Read: Joshua 1:1-9

By Brian Jennings

Moses was dead, and the Israelites needed a leader. Joshua must’ve been shaking at the thought of trying to fill the great leader’s sandals, but God assured him of His presence. He then commanded Joshua: “Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:7) God repeated this command to Joshua, and we know two things:

  1. Joshua listened. There were other voices, but Joshua chose to listen to God.
  2. Joshua obeyed. There were a million temptations to distrust God, but Joshua chose obedience.

Fast-forward ten chapters and Joshua needs to encourage his army. Guess what he said to them? “Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 10:25)

The words God had spoken to him became the words he spoke to others. 

This truth is why we say things like:
"You sound just like your father."
"Oh no. I'm turning into my mom."
"My grandma used to say..."

We repeat what we've heard. More than that, we mimic it. We repeat the content and the tone (and the accent, too).

If you want to talk like God, start listening. 

When we listen, we hear God’s heart – not just the content of the words but also the love draped around them. And when we obey God in all circumstances, we develop the kind of trust that God desires.

Don’t you want to be able to speak the words of God to the hurting, discouraged, distracted, lonely, and confused? Don't we need the words of God right now?

Listen and obey. Before long, God’s words will fill your heart and conversations. And you’ll do what you were commanded to do – help others listen to God and obey Him, too.


Brian Jennings is the Lead Pastor at Highland Park Christian Church in Tulsa, OK and the author of Dancing in No Man’s Land, a life-giving and practical look into the way of Jesus that revolutionizes how to deal with conflict. Learn more at

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5 thoughts on “Day 20: Words that Bring Strength and Courage”

  1. Thank you, Brian, for this well-thought & encouraging message. It’s a helpful reminder to listen to God & encourage others. God’s word in our hearts are a blessing for us and for others when we share those words.

  2. I have always loved this passage. “Be strong and courageous” applies to my life today. Joshua had to take Moses place and here I am parenting two kids…taking the place of their biological parents. Sometimes feeling very lacking for the job. Yet God calls me to Be Strong and Courageous and fight the battle before me. This helps me sit up straighter and feel stronger, more able to the job before me today. Thank you Lord for these words!

  3. Angie, you are “strong and courageous” in many ways. Thanks for setting this example, even though I know we all feel scared often. Erwin McManus says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the absence of self.” I like that a lot!

  4. Another that I have posted right in front of my eyes at my desk…”The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8.
    So many tasks over the past years have seemed too far out of my comfort zone, my skill set, nothing I ever imagined myself doing and just plain scary. But He goes before me and He is with me. I picture myself stepping in His footsteps, following right behind Him, and not focusing on what is 10 steps ahead but instead only on Him.

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