Be Strong and Courageous

March 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Grace and Faith, Personal Testimony | 1 Comment

I have a confession to make.  As I get older, I seem to get more fearful of change.  I hadn’t realized that until just recently.  In these past few months I have been more uptight than ever before about talking to certain people, about e-mails or phone calls from certain sources, about anything I perceive as a challenge to my current comfort level.

Our church is working through a “Retooling” process, but these insecurities have made thinking about retooling rather difficult.  I know we need change, and though in the past I’ve always been one who has been able to welcome change in the church, I don’t feel like I am as open to it now.  I am very comfortable with my job and could easily spend the rest of my career doing what I currently do.  When something threatens that, insecurities and anxieties arise.

I also have sensed more insecurity over things like church finances, worship changes, attendance numbers, and families that decide to leave.

All of this was on my mind the other night; I was awake for a few hours in the middle of the night thinking about it, or maybe fretting about it would be more accurate.  When I got up in the morning, I was scheduled to read the last few chapters of Deuteronomy in my devotions.  These words are the final speech of Moses to Israel, just before he died and they were to enter the Promised Land.  This part jumped out at me:

 “The LORD your God himself will go over before you.  He will destroy these nations before you.  . . .  The LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you.  Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it.  It is the LORD who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:3-8 (ESV)

Now I am not saying that I am a Joshua or that God has promised us a great land, or that every place our foot touches will be ours.  But I am reminded that God gives the strength for us to do what he wants us to do and the courage to face what he wants us to face.  The command to not fear and the command to be courageous are scattered throughout the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua.  The following morning I read them numerous times again as I began through Joshua.  For example:   “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (1:9)  I was encouraged, and I pray for more courage to face whatever God may have us face.

Isn’t it amazing how God uses his word to speak so clearly to us in the situations we face!

1 Comment »

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  1. A note to say I am praying for you, Most church members have no idea what a minister goes through to do his job.


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