2. Face your challenges.

Joshua 1:6, 9. “Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors … Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged.”

God said to Joshua three times, “Be strong & courageous!” He must have known that challenges were ahead – rivers to cross, cities to conquer, and giants to defeat. Between every promise and its fulfilment there is a battle! He had to possess his inheritance. The reality was that this was a momentus, risky, humanly impossible task. Joshua was leading a group of nomadic herders to take fortified cities! The fears were very real. 

In the same way, the Jesus Mission will take courage to face the inevitable challenges. As I travel from time to time and talk to church leaders all around the world, in the midst of many good things happening, everyone has challenges! Leaders are a bit like ducks – they often look calm on the sufrare … but they are paddling like mad underneath!

Challenges have the potential to develop resilience in us. The hard times make us strong. Great leaders navigate great challenges. Challenges are the crucible where greatness emerges. The Chinese word for ‘crisis’ is the same word for ‘opportunity’. What do you see?

[See more Quotes about Courage]

In their book Finding the Courage to Lead, leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner note that leadership doesn’t happen without courage. In fact, leadership can be defined as “courage in action.” Courage is not being fearless so much as it is being able to control one’s fear. Courage requires making a choice in the face of adversity. It is situational and personal. All the stories they research about moments of courage involved hardship, struggle, challenge, or suffering. Everyone has moments of courage. They are not necessarily monumental, life and death struggles. More often they involve meaningful encounters with everyday challenges (taking a stand, making a tough choice, quitting a job, caring deeply enough to act). Courage is not just for heroes after all. It may be precious but it is not rare. It is within you. You may not call on it very often, but its there when you need it.

WHAT is calling out your courage right now? Time pressures, family, finances, conflict, health, coping with change, work, fatigue, habits, negative emotions, keeping fresh? What courageous conversations do you need to have? With other people? With yourself (about your values, challenges, your fears)?

Don’t run!

Don’t ignore them!

Don’t be afraid !

Don’t be discouraged …

FACE your challenges head on … You can do this!

[Part 3 tomorrow]