We can let fear dominate our lives or we can choose to be strong and courageous. I say we can “choose” but if you notice in today’s verse it is a command? Why would God do that? Why would He command us to be strong and courageous? Because we NEED it and He is WORTHY of it! However, we do have options. We can let fear grip our heart and influence our decisions. We can rationalize why we can’t be strong or courageous. We can justify why we should be discouraged and drown in self-pity and yet what does God command? “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Today, decide to obey the Lord. Be strong and courageous in all you face today.
“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Joshua was about to lead a vast number of wilderness wanderers into the Land of Promise. But he would have to be strong and courageous. And he would have to remember that God would never leave him or forsake him. We have to remember that too. We know in our heads that God will never leave us or forsake us, but when a crisis hits, we often feel like He already has.
In moments of confusion or pain, we can get really disoriented The God who seemed like He was on our side yesterday suddenly seems like He doesn’t even know our names. In those times of confusion, we need to insist to ourselves what we know to be true: that He hasn’t left and He isn’t going to. He is still on our side.
Like Joshua, we face big moments of decision, times when we have to put our faith on the line and be strong and courageous. We may fear the outcome, but we don’t have to. Even if the outcome isn’t what we expected, God will be with us in the surprise or disappointment. But He will also be with us in many victories. Whatever we have to walk through, He is there.
Stake everything on that, no matter how present or absent He seems to be. Trust Him even when you can’t sense Him. He made a binding promise to be with you. And He never breaks a promise.
Choose to replace your anxious thoughts with intentional prayer. Your focus will shift from the gravity of your circumstances to the enormity of God’s power. You will gain God’s perspective on the obstacles you face and you will be fortified by God’s peace. How’s your heart? How’s your mind? Are you experiencing the peace that transcends all understanding?
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
The peace of God is not the absence of adversity, but the presence of Divinity. God’s peace transcends understanding in that it is difficult to fathom. How can a believer have such peace in the midst of a raging storm? The peace of God is not subdued by the intensity of your circumstances. God dispenses His peace in proportion to your need. The stronger the waves of resistance you encounter, the greater the allotment of God’s peace you experience.
God’s peace will guard your heart. The enemy knows that if he can rob you of your passion for God in the midst of your adversity, he will have stolen a piece of your heart. The peace of God will guard your heart from the toxic assaults unleashed by the enemy. You have given your heart to Christ and His peace will reign in you.
During seasons of adversity, the enemy seeks to pollute your mind with thoughts of fear, timidity, and doubt. God’s peace will guard your mind. As you replace your thoughts with intentional prayer, the peace of God will shield your mind. Fear will be replaced by faith, timidity will be replaced with courage, and doubt will be replaced with assurance.
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” ~~ Psalm 32:7
Be blessed to know that the God of your life sings over you as a mother soothes and comforts a child. In his arms, He surrounds you with songs of deliverance as you are led through strongholds of fear and anxiety to a place of safety, assurance, and confidence in him. In any trouble, you can sing under the wings of the Most High in harmony with His songs.
My dear friends receive this promise. You can tell others of your confidence in God’s name and his faithfulness. Your name is ever before him in heaven on a scroll of remembrance. He acts on your behalf, just because you are his. He cannot deny his own special treasure. He will rescue you as a compassionate father spares an obedient child.
“He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). You have abiding safety in the Commander of the armies of heaven. His love covers you completely. His defense of you is invulnerable and never ceases. He is your defended place. Run to him as your safe place. His nearness is your good. You have undisturbed fearlessness as you settle down and make your home in him. He prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies.
Believe and receive His unfailing perfect covenant love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Take this deep into your spirit and life-experience. You have His faithful promises that you are secure in his protecting presence. You can rest totally depending on the character of God. Be blessed to trust in the All-sufficient One who is enough. Be blessed to see what God is doing in your life that is a stepping stone to more of Jesus. Jesus is your shield of faith. In him nothing can destroy your joy, your hope, your relationships, your witness, or God’s purposes. And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under his feet.
If you are that someone who is afraid that God has forgotten you, or hasn’t heard you, let me remind you that He hasn’t. If you fear that the circumstances in your life will consume you, or if you are afraid for any reason, know that God has you in His righteous right hand. He will not let you go. So fear not, because if you are in the hand of God, the source of you fear won’t consume you. Remember that fear = false evidence appearing real.
These days, there are plenty of reasons to fear. Our world seems to be in a continuous state of war and crisis. The jobs market is dismal, natural disasters wreak havoc, and stories of crime dominate the headlines. As Christians, we know that fear should have no place in our lives, but how can we ignore what’s going on around us? Basically, there are two paths you can walk: faith or fear. It’s impossible to simultaneously trust God and not trust God. Another way of saying this is that you cannot both obey and disobey Him–partial obedience is disobedience. So, which road are you traveling? We need to choose to have Faith over Fear!
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”~~ Isaiah 41:10
Some people who read the Bible and believe in God nevertheless choose to live with fear. Seeing others experience hardship, they start wondering if it could happen to them: Someone at my office lost his job; will I be next? Someone died in an accident–I could die too. But this kind of “logic” places your circumstances above your relationship to God.
If Satan can get you to fear, he has won the battle for your mind. But when you focus on God rather than your circumstances, whatever the situation is, you win. The Bible tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When you accept this as an absolute truth in your lives, you will find that your worrying stopped.