Fear is a hindrance. It creates anxiety in our heart, it divides our mind, it drains our energy and it hinders whatever we’re doing in life. We learn how to conquer this damaging emotion and live with the confidence only found in God. For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to www.intouch.org/watch

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with Dr. Charles Stanley,

celebrating 45 years
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Next on “In Touch,”
“A Time for Courage.”

Dr. Charles Stanley:
Fear can grip the heart

of a person or it can grip
the heart of a whole nation.

It can be created by what we
know and what we don’t know,

motivated by false
information or true information.

It can either drive us
or paralyze us.

It depends on how we respond.

And if you and I respond
in an improper fashion,

if we respond by giving
in and yielding to fear,

we lose all the way around.

And when I think
about what it does to us,

it divides our mind.

It shatters our emotions.

It impedes our progress.

In fact, every aspect of
our life is affected by it.

And yet people live in fear.

You may say,

Well, there are a lot of things
going on these days that would

cause people to fear
and I understand that.

There are many things that are
happening around us that would

cause us to be afraid.

But are we to live in fear
or are we to live by

courage and faith?

Are we to live worried about,
anxious about all the things

that possibly could happen
and you and I can look in the

scriptures and think about all
the things that our Lord

has warned us about that
would come in the latter days.

Are we to live in fear of these
things or are we to live by

courage, faith and
trust in our Lord?

It’s interesting that how many
times our Lord tells us

to fear not.

For example, in the
tenth chapter of Matthew,

three times He says,

“Fear not, fear not, fear not.”

And somebody has said, and I
don’t know whether it’s true

or not, that there’s one fear
not for every single day

of the year.

Now when I count ’em I don’t
come up with three hundred and

sixty-five but I do know this,

that the same Heavenly
Father who said it once,

says it to us every day.

We do not have to fear because
we have the Lord Jesus Christ

living on the inside of us.

Now there are many, many
people out there who are afraid,

who have fears,
who live in fear,

who have a reason to.

If you do not know Jesus Christ
as your personal Savior,

if you don’t have a relationship
with God through Him you have

lots of reasons to be afraid.

Because the truth is you
have no assurance of today,

no assurance of tomorrow and
certainly no assurance of life

after death.

What I want to talk about in
this passage of scripture here,

and many others is this–
“A Time for Courage.”

A time for courage.

And even though our
Lord says to us, “Fear not.”

that does not mean that He
doesn’t understand when you

and I hit those
situations and circumstances.

Sometimes those things that come
upon us without any warning,

that suddenly we feel fear.

It’s not a sin to feel fear.

But what happens is when we
let it become anxiety within

our life and doubts and
frustrations and all the rest.

And oftentimes we find ourselves
indeed our energy is gone,

our mind is divided,
and what’s happening,

we’re not making the best
of life because we’re

living in fear.

God does not intend
for us to live in fear.

So, I want us to look at a
passage of scripture that not

only says to us we
should not be afraid,

that we should be courageous,
but also in this passage there

are the reasons and the ways and
the steps to building courage

into your life.

And the truth is, no one
wants to be a coward.

We all want to be courageous
and bold and face life no matter

what’s going on.

How do we do it?

So, I want you to turn if you
will to Joshua chapter one.

In Joshua chapter one,
what is happening is Moses,

God’s servant who has
led the nation of Israel,

the Hebrew children, for
years and years and years now,

from the very beginning, and now
the Lord has called him home.

And he has been given
the responsibility,

that is Joshua, who has been his
general and his associate and

the man who stood by
him all those years.

He has been given
the responsibility.

And this is the way
God said it to him.

He said, verse two
of chapter one,

“Moses My servant is
dead; now therefore arise,

cross this Jordan, you
and all this people,

to the land which I am
giving to them,

to the sons of Israel.

Every place on which the sole
of your foot treads,” that is

Joshua, “I have given it to
you, just as I spoke to Moses.

From the wilderness
and this Lebanon,

even as far as the great
river, the river Euphrates,

all the land of the Hittites,
and as far as the Great Sea

toward the setting of the sun,
will be your territory.

No man will be able to
stand before you all the

days of your life.

Just as I have been Moses,
I will be with you;

I will not fail
you or forsake you.

Be strong and courageous,
for you shall give this people

possession of the land which
I swore to their fathers

to give them.

Only be strong and
very courageous,

be careful to do according
to all the law which Moses

My servant commanded you; do
not turn from it to the right

or to the left, so that you may
have success wherever you go.

This book of the law shall
not depart from your mouth,

but you shall meditate
on it day and night,

so that you may be careful to do
according to all that is written

in it; then you will
make your way prosperous,

and then you will have success.”

Now watch this next verse.

“Have I not commanded you?”

that is, as before he says
the same thing again He says,

“Have I not commanded you?”

This is not a
suggestion to Joshua.

Have I not commanded
you, question mark?

What’s that?

“Be strong and courageous!

Do not tremble or be dismayed,
for the LORD your God is

with you wherever you go.”

Now you know what?

That very ninth verse
that says,

“Be strong and courageous.”

He says, “Don’t
tremble or be dismayed,

for the Lord your God is
with you wherever you go.”

As much as He
said that to Joshua,

He says that to you and me
every single day of our life.

All of us who know Jesus Christ
as our Savior have

that same promise.

He will be with us no matter
what we face in life

and whatever’s going on.

Now, what I want to do first
of all is I want to define

what courage is.

Because courage is not just
a matter of being strong,

it is more than that.


It is, listen, it is calmness

in the midst of fear
and what I want to say

a couple of times
here now is this.

It is not a sin to
experience fear.

You and I can think of all the
catastrophes that have happened

in our country recently.

We can think of the things
that have happened to us

personally maybe.

And there are those moments or
those periods of time when

we may have been gripped by
fear, overwhelmed by fear.

In the midst of danger
sometime, whatever’s going on.

It isn’t a matter
of experiencing it,

it is what we do with it.

It is how long it
lasts in our life.

It is what we allow it to do
to us and in us and through us.

And so I’m not saying that
fear in itself is a sin

because sometimes
fear can protect us.

And sometimes it
can motivate us.

And so therefore, that is
fear in itself is not a sin,

but it should not, listen,
it should not live in the life

of a child of God.

So what I’d like to do is I
would like to just give you

a simple definition
and that is this.

Courage is that attitude of
mind and heart that enables us,

listen, that enables us
to face dangers,

obstacles and the
challenges of life fearlessly,

firmly and calmly.

To face those dangers
and obstacles in life,

those challenges
in life fearlessly,

listen, fearlessly,
firmly and calmly.

That is, even in the midst
of danger and difficulty

and hardship there can be
a sense of calmness and

tranquility within us no matter
what is going on.

Now here’s the big question.

How do we develop courage?

What has to happen in our life?

What must we do?

How must we think to
become courageous,

bold people in whom
God can live His life,

through whom God
can do His work,

and through whom He can confront
evil and wickedness in

this day and time?

Well, I want to give
you several things.

It’s all right here
in this first chapter.

Look at this, verse eight, “This
book of the law,” the law of God

which He’d given to
Moses and written it down,

“shall not depart
from your mouth,

but you shall meditate
on it day and night,

so that you may be careful to do
according to all that is written

in it; then you will
make your way prosperous,

and then you will have success.”

Here, listen, here is the first
step to becoming a courageous

bold person who can
face if God says “wait.”

Whether it’s imminent danger,
death, you name it.

And the first step is this.

Begin to meditate
upon the Word of God.

Now what does meditate mean?

It doesn’t mean just
read through the Bible.

It doesn’t mean just pick out
a verse here and there.

It means when you come
to read the scripture,

you ask Him questions.

God, what are You
saying to me personally?

How do I apply this to my life?

What are You saying to me today?

What are You saying to me on how
I’m to relate to this person or

whatever it might be?

What happens is, when you’re
meditating upon God’s Word,

watch this, you’re taking,
you’re taking the thoughts

of God, placing them
into your mind.

They become a part
of your very being,

your subconscious mind, so
that you can refer to them

consciously or subconsciously,
both they are there.

You beginning to fill your
mind with the mind of God.

You’re beginning to
think the way God thinks.

Therefore, what
are you gonna do?

You’re gonna respond
the way God responds.

God is fearful of nothing.

And so when you and I begin to
meditate upon the Word of God,

here’s what we do.

We’re learning the ways of God.

We know what God is thinking
and what He says about this

situation, that, and the other.

So the first thing He says,
meditate upon the Word.

The second thing that’s
involved here is this.

Look at what He says.

He says, “This book of the
law shall not depart from your

mouth, but you shall
meditate on it day and night,

not once in a while so that you
may be careful to do according

to all that is written in it;
then you will make your way

prosperous, then you
will have success.”

Not be full of fear but
make your way prosperous,

and be full of success.

How, what’s that?

He says, “Not only
mediating upon it,

but do what it says.”

You see, people say, “Well,
I read the Bible and they’re

living a backslidden condition.”

You know why?

They may be reading it, but
they’re not doing what it says.

When you are living a life of
obedience to the Word of God,

there is a strength.

There is a stamina.

There is an energy,
there is a confidence,

there is a boldness that
naturally overflows in your life

as a result of, listen,
keeping God’s Word in your heart

and doing what it says.

That’s two steps.

There’s a third step here,
and that is, listen,

to recall the faithfulness
of God in past circumstances.

Now think about
what he said to him.

He said in verse
three, verse two,

“Moses My servant is
dead; now therefore arise,

cross this Jordan, you
and all this people,

to the land which I am
giving to them,

to the sons of Israel.

Every place on which the
sole of your foot treads,

I have given it to you,
just as I spoke to Moses.”

What’s happening?

He is challenging Joshua
to remember, listen,

the faithfulness of God
to Moses in the past.

The faithfulness of God
to Moses in the past.

And He says, listen, He
says, “Just as I was with Moses,

I’m gonna be with you.

You think about how many
times God has brought you

through difficulty.”

How many times He’s brought you
through things that you think,

God, this is it.

I don’t think I’m gonna
be able to handle this.

And He brought you through it.

That’s why we
should keep a diary.

That’s why we should write down,

we should keep–listen, we
should keep a record of the

things that God has done in our
life so that when we hit these

situations and circumstances,
we look back and say,

Well God, here’s
what You promised

and here’s what You did.

You were faithful here,
You were faithful here,

You were faithful here.

Why should I be afraid?

Why should I be afraid
now when You have been faithful

every single time?

You know what happens?

Your courage begins to soar.

When you begin to reflect on the
times in your life when God

has brought you through
things, you think,

God, how in the world
am I gonna face it?

He brought you through it.

Recalling, listen,
recalling those difficulties.

Recalling those hardships.

Recalling those times of doubt.

Recalling those times of
fear when you would search

the scripture and say,
God, what do You want,

what do You want
to do in my life?

Here’s, here’s
what I’m facing, God.

And you flipped
through and you read

maybe some of the Psalms
or the Proverbs or some

parts of the Epistles and
you’re asking questions.

And God began to
speak to your heart.

And what happened?

As He spoke to your
heart you began to say,

Well God, you know, that’s,
that’s how You brought me

through it last time.

And no matter what
you keep moving.

Another very
important step is this,

observing courage
in other people.

Listen, what He
said to him, He says,

“Just as I was with Moses,
I’m gonna be with you.”

And what I want you to see is
that all through Moses’ life

there’s courage.

Did he ever make
any mistakes or sin?

Yes, he did.

Did he ever have any fears?
Yes, he did.

In fact, you know,
you know what he said.

When God said, “I want you to go
see Pharaoh and he gave Him

all this long bunch of
reasons why he couldn’t do it.”

You know why he couldn’t do it?

He was afraid.

Naturally he was afraid.

But he obeyed.

And I was thinking, in
preparation of this message,

I was trying to think about
how many times in my life have

I really and truly been afraid?

Now if you expect
me to say “none”,

you’re wrong
because I have been.

I’ve been afraid.

And I thought of
three significant times,

real significant times in
my life when I was afraid.

One time I was afraid because I
just knew the consequences were

gonna be more than I
thought I could handle.

Another time, because I knew I
was not equipped and capable

of doing what God was
calling me to do.

Another time, I was just scared.

I was afraid of the criticism
because I figured

I was gonna fail.

Have I ever been afraid?
Yes, I have.

But I can tell you this.

Each time I
ultimately obeyed God.

Each time He put
such pressure on me,

here’s what I discovered.

I was more fearful of
meeting Him than failing.

In other words, it
didn’t make any difference.

I knew that I had to be
obedient because

I couldn’t live with myself.

There are gonna come those
times when you’re gonna feel it,

but here’s what I
want you to remember.

Your Heavenly Father
knows all about that.

You look back in your life
how He’s helped you survive.

You look at other people around
you and if there’s ever been

a time in the life of this
nation when we have hundreds

and thousands of examples of
courageous bold people.

Courageous people, who’ve been
willing to sacrifice their life

for what they believed in and
what they were committed to.

Then I want you to notice
something else that’s very,

very, very important here,
that is not here in

a particular verse
but it’s here.

And listen carefully,
and if you’re listening,

I want you to say amen.
Listen carefully.

One of the things that builds
courage into us is facing those

circumstances and, listen,
here’s what happens.

What will determine what
we do, watch this now,

is what we see as
being at stake.

That is, what’s at stake here?

What’s hanging
in the balance here?

Joshua probably was fearful.

But what was
hanging in the balance?

What was hanging in the
balance is the nation of Israel,

God’s chosen people through
whom the Messiah would come,

through whom the Savior of the
entire world would come

for all time and eternity.

And what was at stake was
getting these people into the

land that God had given them,
promised all the way

back to Abraham.

This wasn’t some little journey.

What was at stake, listen, was
God’s great plan of redemption

for mankind.

Now here’s what you and
I have to think about.

When you and I are challenged,
we’re confronted and we could

either be fearful or
we could be courageous.

What we have to stop and
ask is, What’s at stake?

Now watch this.

Here’s somebody around you
criticizing and knocking Jesus

and the Bible and the church
and all the rest and all those

Christians and
lah-dah-dah and, you know,

this, that, and the other.

Do you just walk away and
stand quietly and say nothing?

Or when somebody says, Well,
Jesus is just like all

those other gods.

Well, the God of you Christians,
He’s just one of many gods.

Let me ask you a question.

What’s at stake?

There’s more to–listen,

what’s at stake is
not your reputation.

What’s at stake is not what you,
what’s at stake is this–

the name of Jesus.

The God of the Christian,
Jehovah God,

that’s what’s at stake.

What’s at stake is that
you and I defend His name.

And you and I know that
people can talk about God,

God, God; when you
mention the name of Jesus,

they throw a fit.

And you know why?

Because everything He represents
strikes against the sinfulness

and the wickedness and
the vileness of their life.

And they don’t like His name.

What’s at stake is
the name of Jesus.

What’s at stake is the
name of Jehovah God.

Should we be bold
and courageous?


Act silly?

Act ungodly?

But to, listen, fearlessly,
firmly and calmly defend

the name of the Son of God.

That is our responsibility.

Listen, it doesn’t make any
difference what anybody thinks.

One thing they cannot deny–you
have a conviction that

you’re living by, a
boldness they don’t have,

a courage they
cannot understand.

And that goes a long ways in
your witness and your testimony.

One other thing I would say
about this whole idea of how

to build courage in our life
and I hope you’re jotting these

things down because
they’re all important.

And the one last thing is this.

Not only observing courage in
other people and not only having

a clear understanding
of what’s at stake,

but the last thing
I’d mention is this.

And that is recalling
the promises of God.

Recalling the promises of God.

And listen to what
He said to Joshua.

He said to Joshua, “Be
strong and courageous,

strong and courageous,
strong and courageous.”

He knew the promises of God to
give that land to the

Hebrew children of
the nation of Israel.

God wants us to recall His
promises because He’s

never failed to keep one.

What has He already said to us?

“I’ll never leave
you nor forsake you.”

Now listen clearly.

This is the bottom
line of all courage.

That you have unwavering faith,
in not a fact.

You have unwavering faith in the
truth that your God is with you

in every single circumstance of
life every single moment

of your life.

And that with His
presence comes His power,

His protection,
and His provision.

And Father, how grateful we are
for the wonderful truth

of Your Word.

And that You want us to
be bold and courageous.

Because You’re living
on the inside of us,

we represent You.

I pray the Holy Spirit will
speak to every single person

who hears this message,
pointing them to Yourself

as the beginning of all
true genuine life,

life eternal found in
Your Son, Jesus Christ.

For we ask it in His name, amen.

Now, I asked you should
you be afraid of death

so let me say this.

If you’ve never trusted
Jesus Christ as your Savior,

let me ask you a question,
what’s gonna happen to you

when you die?

You say, Well, I’m
going to Heaven.

On what basis?
I have been–sorry.

The Bible is so crystal clear
that your behavior and

your conduct will not
get you into Heaven.

So, what’s gonna
happen to you when you die?

Well, I guess I’ll
just become nothing.


You’re gonna live forever,
so that doesn’t work.

What’s gonna happen
to you when you die?

Well, I guess I’m going
to–yes, not guess,

you are going to stand in the
presence of the Living God and

give an account to your life
for having rebelled against Him,

chosen to live outside of His
will and purpose and plan

for your life.

And you tell me that
you’re gonna face death

with no assurance.


You say, Well, this is
just what I believe.

But what is the basis of your
belief that you’re

going to Heaven?

What’s the basis of it?

Do you have a true, genuine,
unshakeable provable basis

for believing that
you’re going to Heaven?

You gonna face death, no
assurance and tell me that

you’re gonna do it fearlessly
and boldly and bravely?

No, you’re not.

It’s easy when we’re healthy and
strong and walking and doing our

thing to talk about how bold we
are and how brave we are and how

courageous we are and
how fearlessly we live.

When all of a sudden, your
strength is gone and you’re

lying flat on your back, and you
can hardly raise a part of your

body and you’re breathing toward
your last breaths and

you’re telling me that you’re
courageous when you know that

in maybe a few moments
or a few hours at the most,

you’re going to die.

And you’ll have to admit that
it’s possible that there is

a God, and that He’s holy,
and that He offers us His

Son, Jesus, to die in your
behalf and you turn Him down.

You’ll have to acknowledge
that’s a possibility.

And you’re gonna
die without Him.

Listen to what God said,
not some preacher.

“It is appointed
unto man once to die,

and after this the
judgment,” period.

My friend, the only way to
leave this life and head into

the next one joyfully,
confidently, and courageously is

having accepted Jesus Christ as
your personal Savior by faith,

which means that you accept His
death at Calvary as full payment

for your sin.

And you’re taking Him
as your personal Savior.

And you can do that by simply
asking Him to forgive you

of your sin.

Telling Him that you do believe
that He died in your behalf and

that you’re receiving Him
as your personal Savior

here and now.

That’ll change
your eternal destiny.