“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1.9From Toni Clark:
Have you ever had to do something out of your comfort zone? I remember on a Christian Fellowship weekend at University we went abseiling – it wasn’t something I’d done before (or want to again if I am honest!) and not something I was looking forward to. At the top I was pretty terrified, and was threatening not to do it, but with encouragement from my friends and a reminder that I wasn’t alone, God was with me, I went for it – and survived!
I love this verse in Joshua. It is such a great reminder that God is with us always, that there is no need for us to be afraid. We just need to be strong and courageous and face whatever we are challenged by, those things of which we are afraid. I have just been writing my sermon on Psalm 2 and the start of verse 4 just makes me smile – “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” God is laughing at the nations plotting their rebellion against him, thinking that they can overthrow him.
Spend a moment now, thinking about one thing you are particularly afraid of or worried about. Now picture God (lovingly) laughing as He sees how small that thing is in comparison to His great strength, wisdom and love. This verse reminds us that there is nothing that God is afraid of, he just laughs at the very idea that he can be overthrown.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later, defeating death. Nothing can overthrow God. Knowing this should give us confidence when we are feeling afraid or discouraged for we know that God is with us. And we know that God isn’t there with us also feeling afraid, he is there with us knowing he can never be defeated and this should give us confidence to face whatever challenges or worries we have.
At this time, as lockdown begins to ease, I know some people are feeling more anxious and afraid, worrying about what the future might bring – another wave of Coronavirus, worries about jobs and money – there are all sorts of things that can cause fear and discouragement. But we can face those fears with strength and courage because we know we are not alone, God is with us wherever we go.