8 "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; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Courage is being strong, stout, bold and alert especially in the face of resistance or great obstacles. When others get shaky, courage down-shifts and moves forward in calm resolve. The context of the word in verse 9 indicates how this is possible. First, being courageous starts with a good relationship with the Word of God. Meditating on the Word means saturating yourself in it all the time. Memorizing and pondering it result in speaking it everywhere you are – it’s the first thing that comes to mind no matter what comes up. The first result of such intensity is obedience to what it says. The Word is powerful, compelling and will capture your heart if you stay near to it and that’s a very good place to be because obeying it will make your way prosperous and give you success. Nothing succeeds like success!
Now, the command: Be strong and courageous! No trembling or dismay, for God is with you every step you go. You are more sure of that the longer you walk with Him. In the times when courage is not as strong as needed, you can call on Him to be near and let you feel His presence. You can rehearse the Word and be strong, stout, bold and alert as you face your day.