February 8, 2012
When our oldest daughter, Dominique, was about four years old, we took her to Dairy Queen to see the Easter Bunny. While driving there, she became more excited and I was pumped to see her smiling with joy. We walked in and saw what I expected, a 6-foot tall Easter Bunny. But poor Dominique was scared and terrified, because she was expecting a little six-inch Easter Bunny. She was afraid the oversized bunny was going to attack her. She cried and didn’t take her eyes off him for one second … and never even touched her beloved ice cream. Needless to say, after seeing her so scared and unable to warm up to the mutant Easter Bunny, we left pretty quickly.
We have all experienced fear and discouragement at times. In today’s scripture, God is speaking to Joshua, telling him to be strong and courageous. “Do not be afraid or discouraged.” How is this possible?
You see, Joshua was faced with the tremendous responsibility of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, conquering the land, and setting up residence. There would be times of defeat … great challenges … biting criticism … and immense frustration. And yet God told him not to be fearful or discouraged … “because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
What a wonderful promise! As we submit to God, making Jesus Lord of our lives, we, too, can be assured that He will be with us wherever we go. He will protect us, comfort us, defend us, teach us, guide us, and love us unconditionally. No matter how bleak things may look, or what challenges or sorrows we may face, we can know that our heavenly Father is with us. And as we trust Him and walk in obedience, He will work all things together for our good and growth.
Are you feeling afraid or discouraged right now? Perhaps you don’t feel as though God is with you. The good news is that feelings can lie … but God’s promises are always true.
Today, no matter what your circumstances, you can be strong and courageous. Think about where you get your confidence from as you engage in your everyday activities … or when the pressure is on. Does your confidence come from you? If so, your confidence reserve is pretty shallow and will soon run out. Your confidence needs to come from God … from His promises, teachings, and character. WITHIN REACH will help you see the source of your confidence and learn how to tap into God and the Holy Spirit for true confidence and empowerment. Life is your decision, so choose well.
My Father and my Lord, Thank You that I can always count on You. Even though I don’t always sense Your presence, help me to remember Your Word – that You are always with me. Help me to focus on You, not on the circumstances. Help me to be strong and courageous. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who teaches us how to be strong and courageous, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
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
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28