Being a Christian is dangerous. Ask the grandmother who stands up for the first time to the gossips in her circle of churchgoing friends. Or the Caucasian kid who posts pictures of his black and Mexican roommates, knowing what his bigoted parents will mutter under their breath. Or the successful woman who bucks the cultural trend to keep her faith to herself and brings up Jesus with her Buddhist neighbor. Or the pastor who dares to preach the uncomfortable things Jesus said.
Given that historians believe Matthew, Thomas, James, Philip, Peter, Andrew, Bartholomew, James, Simon, and Thaddeus were all murdered for following Jesus (Judas betrayed and John survived being boiled in oil, which makes all 12 apostles), we should probably expect a bit of danger if we follow the sandal tracks of our Savior.
In those moments, when fear threatens to change our minds and make us play it safe, we need the words Joshua heard as he ventured into the Promised Land: “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6,7,9). God encouraged him not once, not twice, but three times in a single chapter.
The danger Joshua faced was as real as yours. But you and Joshua share the same source of strength—God. The Father will be with you. Jesus will forgive your sins and compel you to take the risk. The Spirit will give you wisdom in your time of need. So don’t give in to fear. Do what God is calling you to do. Be strong and courageous! God is with you!