At some point they will strike us all.
And over the past few months I have prayed for several friends who are facing serious illness, or have a loved one in dire shape.
All are Christians, and I’ve seen a confidence and courage in the midst of their pain, that could only come from God.
As Joshua was named leader to succeed Moses, Moses encouraged Joshua saying, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31 6).
As health problems can appear larger than life, with a road to recovery long and winding, the Israelites had a mammoth task in front of them. Their future involved facing different people groups, and physically going to war to seize the land.
On his deathbed, Moses, Joshua’s mentor, exhorted Joshua, because on paper, the work ahead appeared overwhelming.
God, out of his love, confirmed Moses’ words to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:23, and again in Joshua 1:7. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.” There was no doubt Joshua was chosen to lead the Israelites, and God knew he needed a truckload of encouragement.
What do you need strength and courage for today?
If you are a practicing Christian, I am called to remind you “the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
But there’s one little catch.
Whether we’re in a health crisis or not, a difficult trial or not, God wants us to stay connected to him 24/7. Through Moses, Joshua was also told not to stray from the law and to meditate on the Word, day and night, so he would do what it says, and be prosperous and successful.
How can we feel strong and courageous in trials, if we are not plugged into the power source of strength, and courage, God?
I know in my own life, it took looking back on my early periods of difficulty and failure, to see God’s presence in those situations. It saddens me to know I was not spending daily time with God then, so I could feel his presence in the midst of those battles.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Joshua knew that, and glued himself to the Almighty. He sought his counsel every day, because the road ahead was filled with trouble.
Battle-by-battle against angry armies, he heard God’s instruction, and the Israelites’ foes were defeated.
What enemy are you facing today?
Ask your Father, and All-Knowing God how to proceed.
And because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt he is with you, it’s easy to be…
strong and courageous.