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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV
God doesn’t waste words. He doesn’t repeat Himself because He couldn’t find anything more profound to say. God’s words have the power to create entire universes. His words are active and precise. Sent out on mission to accomplish a particular purpose. And they never, ever, return to Him void. When we look through the pages of scripture and see that God says over and over again, “Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous”. All over the Bible, you’ll find variations of those same words. Time and time again, God urges His children to be some things and not to be other things.
God cautions His children – Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. All throughout His Word. You see, our good Father knows more than we do about life. He is the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End. He always was. Always has been. So He knows what we often forget. That fear and discouragement go hand in hand. It’s impossible to be free of the the past, to overcome obstacles in life, to be free of that which so easily besets us if we’re deflated, discouraged and afraid. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear keeps us paralyzed, cowering in the corner, too afraid to step out into what God is calling us to. Fear keeps us from being bold. Fear rehearses the mistakes of the past. Reminds us of the things that went wrong. Of everything that didn’t work out. Every failure. Every mishap. Every heartbreak. And uses all that as the reason that we can’t. That we’re not good enough. So we become discouraged. Lacking in courage, hope and enthusiasm. Too afraid to hope or dream again. The enemy seeks to keep us in this place of fear and discouragement. Of anxiety and despair. Because in that place, we are unable to live out the call of God on our lives. Boxed into prisons of our own making.
In place of the fear and discouragement, God also urges His children to be strong and courageous. He says be strong. But not in our own strength. Be strong by standing clothed in the strength of your Father. Know that I am with you. Where you are weak, I am undoubtedly strong. Where you are unsure, I have always had a plan. I will make your steps sure. When we are strong in the Lord. When we decide to rely on His strength instead of ours. To follow Him instead of going our own way. That is where the courage comes from. Because the One in whom we trust has armies of angels at His disposal. Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Loves us with a love everlasting. And has had plans of good for us even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. Choosing faith in God and rejecting fear. This emboldens us. Locks our knees to stand firm against the enemy rather than buckling at the first sign of trouble. Straightens our backs and lifts our heads to look heavenward – to where our help comes from. In this place of faith and boldness. Of hope and courage. We are able, by the power of the Holy Spirit to be who God uniquely designed us to be. And to reach and touch the world in very special ways. What a blow to the kingdom of darkness to heed the words of our Father. To reject fear and discouragement. And rather walk in strength and courage because we know that God is with us wherever we go.
Love & Blessings,