“Be courageous and strong and go to work. Do not be afraid or be terrified, for Jehovah . . . is with you.”—1 CHRON. 28:20.
1, 2. (a) What important assignment did Solomon receive? (b) Why did David express concern about Solomon?
SOLOMON was instructed to oversee one of the most important construction projects of all time—that of the temple in Jerusalem. The building was to be “exceedingly magnificent, so that its fame and beauty [would] be known in all lands.” More important, the temple would be “the house of Jehovah the true God.” Jehovah directed that Solomon be the overseer of this project.—1 Chron. 22:1, 5, 9-11.
2 King David was confident of God’s support, but Solomon was “young and inexperienced.” Would he have the courage to take on the task of building the temple? Would his youth and inexperience be an obstacle? To succeed, Solomon would need to be courageous and go to work.
3. What could Solomon learn about courage from his father?
3 Solomon likely learned much about courage from his own father. In his youth, David fought wild animals that carried off his father’s sheep. (1 Sam. 17:34, 35) He displayed tremendous courage when he confronted a battle-hardened giant. Yes, with God’s help and a smooth stone, David defeated Goliath.—1 Sam. 17:45, 49, 50.
4. Why did Solomon need to be courageous?
4 How appropriate it was later for David to urge Solomon to be courageous and construct the temple! (Read 1 Chronicles 28:20.) If Solomon did not prove to be courageous, fear could paralyze him, and inactivity would be worse than failure.
5. Why do we need courage?
5 Like Solomon, we need help from Jehovah to be courageous and complete the work. To that end, we can reflect on some past examples of courage. And we can think about how we can show courage and get our work accomplished.
EXAMPLES OF COURAGE
6. What impresses you about Joseph’s courage?
6 Consider the courage Joseph showed when Potiphar’s wife tempted him to commit sexual immorality. He must have known that he could face severe consequences if he refused her. Even so, rather than give in, he showed courage and took decisive action.—Gen. 39:10, 12.
7. Describe the courage that Rahab showed. (See opening picture.)
7 Rahab is another example of courage. When Israelite spies went to her home in Jericho, she could have given in to fear and turned them away. But with confidence in Jehovah, she courageously hid the two men and helped them to get away safely. (Josh. 2:4, 5, 9, 12-16) Rahab accepted that Jehovah is the true God, and she trusted that somehow he would give the land to the Israelites. She did not let fear of others, including the king of Jericho and his men, paralyze her. Rather, she acted in a way that in the end preserved her and her family.—Josh. 6:22, 23.
8. How did Jesus’ courage affect the apostles?
8 Jesus’ faithful apostles set a fine example of courage. They had seen the courage Jesus displayed. (Matt. 8:28-32; John 2:13-17; 18:3-5) That example helped them to build courage. When opposed by the Sadducees, the apostles would not stop teaching on the basis of Jesus’ name.—Acts 5:17, 18, 27-29.
9. How does 2 Timothy 1:7 help us to identify the fundamental source of courage?
9 Joseph, Rahab, Jesus, and the apostles displayed an inner strength that motivated them to perform good works. Their courage was not overconfidence. It came from reliance on Jehovah. We too face circumstances that require courage. Rather than rely on ourselves, we must rely on Jehovah. (Read 2 Timothy 1:7.) Let us consider two areas of life where we need courage: in our family and in the congregation.
SITUATIONS REQUIRING COURAGE
10. Why do Christian youths need courage?
10 Christian youths face many situations in which they need to show courage to serve Jehovah. They can learn from and follow the basic example of Solomon as he showed courage in making wise decisions to complete the construction of the temple. Though Christian youths can and should receive guidance from their parents, youths themselves have important decisions to make. (Prov. 27:11) The wise decisions they make about good associations, wholesome entertainment, moral cleanness, and baptism all call for courage. That is because such young ones are going against the will of Satan, the one who taunts God.
11, 12. (a) How did Moses set a fine example of courage? (b) How can young ones imitate Moses’ example?
11 One important decision young ones must make involves their goals. In some lands, young ones are pressured to set goals that center on higher education and a well-paying job. In other lands, economic conditions may make young ones feel that they must focus on helping to provide materially for their families. If you find yourself in either situation, consider the example of Moses. Raised by the daughter of Pharaoh, Moses could have set his goals on attaining prominence or economic security. What pressure he must have felt to do so from his Egyptian family, teachers, and counselors! Rather than give in, Moses courageously took a stand for pure worship. Once he left behind the riches of Egypt, Moses put his confidence in Jehovah. (Heb. 11:24-26) That led to Jehovah’s blessing at the time, and no doubt more blessings await Moses in the future.
12 Likewise, Jehovah will bless young ones who courageously work at setting spiritual goals and putting Kingdom interests first in their lives. He will help them provide for the needs of their families. In the first century, the young man Timothy focused on spiritual goals, and you can too.*—Read Philippians 2:19-22.
13. How did courage help a young sister reach her goals?
13 A Christian sister in Alabama, U.S.A., had to develop courage to set spiritual goals. She writes: “Growing up, I was really shy. I could barely talk to people at the Kingdom Hall, much less knock on the doors of complete strangers.” With the help of her parents and others in the congregation, this young Christian achieved her goal of becoming a regular pioneer. She states: “Satan’s world promotes higher education, fame, money, and having a lot of material things as good goals. Often, those pursuits are unattainable and bring only stress and heartache. Serving Jehovah, though, has brought me the greatest happiness and sense of accomplishment.”
14. What are some instances when Christian parents need courage?
14 Christian parents also need courage. For example, your employer may regularly ask you to work overtime on evenings and weekends—times that you have set aside for family worship, field service, and Christian meetings. Courage is required to turn down such regular requests and set the right example for your children. Or perhaps a few parents in the congregation allow their children to do things that you do not want your child to do. Those parents may ask why your child does not get involved in such activities. Will you be courageous and tactfully explain the reason for your decision?
15 We show courage when we help our children to set and reach spiritual goals. For instance, some parents may hesitate to encourage their child to pursue a career of pioneering, to serve where the need is greater, to enter Bethel service, or to work on theocratic construction projects. The parents may fear that their child will not be able to care for them when they are old. However, wise parents show courage and put faith in Jehovah’s promises. (Read Psalm 37:25; Hebrews 13:5.) Then an added way that you can demonstrate courage and reliance on Jehovah is by helping your child to do the same.—1 Sam. 1:27, 28; 2 Tim. 3:14, 15.
16. How have some parents helped their children to set spiritual goals, and how has this proved beneficial?
16 A couple in the United States helped their children set spiritual goals. The husband explains: “Before our children could walk and talk, we would speak to them about the joys of pioneering and serving the congregation. Now this is their goal. Having and achieving spiritual goals helps our children to counteract pressures from Satan’s system and to focus on what is real—Jehovah.” A brother who has two children wrote: “Many parents expend much effort and resources helping their children reach goals in such areas as sports, recreation, and education. It makes so much more sense to expend effort and resources in helping our children reach goals that will help them to maintain a good standing with Jehovah. It has been a great source of satisfaction not only to see our children reach spiritual goals but to share the journey with them.” You can be sure that God will bless parents who help their children to set and reach spiritual goals.
COURAGE IN THE CONGREGATION
17. Give examples of courage in the Christian congregation.
17 There is also a need to show courage in the congregation. For instance, elders need courage when caring for judicial matters or when helping those who face life-threatening medical emergencies. Some elders visit prisons to care for the spiritual needs of inmates. What of single sisters? There are now many opportunities for them to expand their ministry by pioneering, moving to where the need is greater, working with the Local Design/Construction program, and applying for the School for Kingdom Evangelizers. Some are even able to attend Gilead School.
18. How can older sisters show courage?
18 Older women are a blessing to the congregation. How we love these dear sisters! Some may not be able to do as much as they once did in God’s service, but they can still show courage and go to work. (Read Titus 2:3-5.) For example, an older sister needs courage if she is asked to talk to a younger sister about modest dress. She will not scold the sister about her choice of clothing, but she may be able to encourage the younger one to consider how her choice of clothing may affect others. (1 Tim. 2:9, 10) Such loving expressions of concern may have a positive effect.
19 Others who should be courageous and go to work are baptized brothers. Courageous men who are willing to take on more responsibility are a blessing to a congregation. (1 Tim. 3:1) However, some may be reluctant to reach out. Perhaps a brother has made mistakes in the past, and now he feels that he is not worthy of being a ministerial servant or an elder. Another brother might have feelings of inadequacy about fulfilling an assignment. If you feel that way, Jehovah can help you develop courage. (Read Philippians 2:13; 4:13.) Remember, at one point, Moses did not feel qualified for an assignment. (Ex. 3:11) Yet, Jehovah helped him, and in time, Moses developed courage to accomplish the work. A baptized brother can develop similar courage by seeking God’s help in earnest prayer and by daily reading the Bible. Meditating on accounts of courage will also help. He can humbly ask the elders for training and make himself available to help in whatever way is needed. We urge all baptized brothers to be courageous and work hard for the congregation!
“JEHOVAH . . . IS WITH YOU”
20, 21. (a) What assurance did David provide Solomon? (b) Of what can we be confident?
20 King David reminded Solomon that Jehovah would be with him until the work of building the temple was finished. (1 Chron. 28:20) With his father’s words impressed on his mind and heart, Solomon did not allow his youth and inexperience to become an obstacle. He showed great courage, went to work, and with Jehovah’s help completed the magnificent temple in seven and a half years.
21 As Jehovah helped Solomon, he can help us to be courageous and to accomplish our work, both in our family and in the congregation. (Isa. 41:10, 13) When we show courage in our worship of Jehovah, we can be confident of his blessing now and in the future. Therefore, “be courageous . . . and go to work.”
You will find some practical steps for setting spiritual goals outlined in the article “Use Spiritual Goals to Glorify Your Creator,” published in The Watchtower of July 15, 2004.