Scripture: 1 Chronicles 19:13 (ESV)
Mighty Men of Courage
"Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him."
Joab was the commander of King David's "Mighty Men". These were the elite warriors, which only consisted of the top 300 who proved their valor. When Joab saw the two enemy armies, the Ammonites and the Syrians, closing in around his troops, he made a decision. He told Abishai, his brother, to face the one army, while he would face the other. Even when death was staring these men in the face, they displayed great courage, not letting the desperation of avoiding defeat and death sway their battle plan. They trusted God's will completely, even with their lives. Joab was not certain he would survive this day, but his response to "be strong", and trust that God would do what seemed good to Him, is amazing!
If I want to be one of God's "Mighty Men", I must model my idea of courage after such men of faith. When I'm surrounded by many things, like my future, or stressful situations, or the constant demands of this life, there is a part of me that wants to go hide in a corner and weep. I bet there was a similar part in Joab as well. But the difference is that Joab's courage out-weighed his fears. He used his strength for others and for God, and he abandoned himself, "For God and country!" This man faced way more than I have ever faced in my life, but what if I were captured by terrorists? Would I have the courage to trust God, even if I didn't get to escape with my life?
"Lord Jesus, thank you for Joab and his model of courage to stay strong and keep fighting. Help me to become a mighty man of courage no matter the cost. Amen."