Discouragement. It is real and it is so prevalent in our world today. We have been through so much as a global community and sometimes it is difficult to remain courageous, but we have to – surrender is not an option.
Throughout history, people have suffered and faced almost insurmountable problems. Even in the time of Moses, God had to remind him to be strong and courageous.
Deuteronomy 31: 6-8
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
7 Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land.
8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Fear is real. Worry can be paralyzing. Courage, once lost, can be hard to rediscover. But remember that God is with us. He will never abandon or forsake us. I thank God that I don’t have to face my problems alone. I don’t have to do things in my own strength. I have a helper. He gives me courage.
Let us be like Joshua.
Joshua 1: 6-9
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
9 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.”
Notice that God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous. It was not a gentle request. Let us respond to the command, remembering that God is with us wherever we go.
Isaiah 41: 10-13
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
11 “See, all your angry enemies lie there,
confused and humiliated.
Anyone who opposes you will die
and come to nothing.
12 You will look in vain
For those who tried to conquer you.
Those who attack you
will come to nothing.
13 For I will hold you by your right hand –
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.
Remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity. He has given you a spirit of power. A spirit of love. You have a sound mind. You have self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
Be brave. Be courageous. God is with you.