Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV
One of the ways to be unified is to have a common enemy. Perceived or real doesn’t really matter, as long as the threat is puffed up to be against you. This is especially true during the voting political season.
Inflation and crime are the enemy to be feared. Political commercial advertisements tell you to vote a certain way and these fears will be addressed. “All” the polls tell you what people should fear as enemy number one, two, three and so forth. Fear is the motivator toward unity.
God’s word to Joshua is so relevant for us today. As the leader, he was going into uncharted territory to battle people and armies larger than they were. God spoke to Joshua’s heart and fears.
To be Strong is the physical, mental capacity for strength. God was telling Joshua, you have what it takes to be strong. “Physically and mentally”. God says, “You will be equipped to handle the challenge which lies before you.
To be Courageous is the exercising of faith. Having faith and exercising faith are similar, but different. Courage is aroused when faith is responding to the word of God. Without HIm we can do nothing, but through the engagement with Christ through faith, you can do all things. Notice faith is action, not just a system of belief. David picked up the stones to throw at the enemy. He was prepared to do more than have the right words to tell Goliath. Faith comes by hearing. Once you hear, courage is that faith in action.
Do not fear will address your emotions and words. Fear is a contagious poison that spreads quickly. The antidote is speaking what God is saying, even if your eyes are seeing something different. The key is speaking to your heart and emotions. Speaking aloud God’s word and promises helps take the fearful thoughts captive. Sometimes repetition of the right words breaks through the fear and uncertainty to tap into God’s peace. Don’t let the lies and half trues of fearful thoughts remain unchallenged by God’s word. Speak to the fearful thoughts God’s ways, God’s character and God’s love for you.
Do not be discouraged or dismayed. One definition for this Hebrew word carries the idea of something breaking. We might use the phrase breaking or cracking under the pressure. The situation has made you fragile.
The reality is the pressures which you are feeling are many times beyond your control to manage. Whenever possible make the adjustments – “Have the conversation”, “forgive instead of remaining bitter”, “make amends”, or “do what is right, instead of remain stuck”.
The key to enduring and not breaking is the last phrase of the verse, God says, “I am with you wherever you go.” His presence will be the strength you need to endure the pressures. Jesus said to lay your burdens upon Him, He can handle them. God’s abiding presence makes all the difference.
On this Fear Not Friday, may you be comforted with His abiding presence. If gas goes to $10 a gallon, God is present. If we have to make major cuts in budgets to feed our families, God is present to help guide through those decisions. May God be your refuge and very present help in trouble.
He is mighty to save. Be strong and courageous, Do not be afraid or dismayed. God is with you.
Blessings Love y’all
I would love to hear how this message may have helped you. It was a real word for me also.