Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Finding Strength and Courage

"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. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:6-9 NIV)

You see it around campus these days.  Students are tired, and with fatigue often comes discouragement.  When we are extremely tired, we are much more vulnerable to becoming discouraged.  

Imagine that you came to college with the goal of graduating in four years, but 40 years later you still had not received your degree.  Think you would be tired and discouraged?  This is basically what Joshua experienced.  He and the Israelites, led by Moses, left Egypt with the promise of God they would enter a new land “flowing with milk and honey.”  Yet, 40 years later, they were still on the Egyptian side of the Jordan and Moses was dead.  

The Lord then speaks to Joshua and tells him he will be the one to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land.  He tells him to be strong and courageous and reminds him that He will be with him wherever he goes.  

Sometimes life just keeps pressing in on us.  We would love to have a break, but there is not one to be found.  Project deadlines.  Chronic illness.  Children.  We can’t just wish them away.  They are there staring us in the face demanding our time and energy.  

It is at these times the words of the Lord to Joshua are especially meaningful.  To carry on when we are tired and discouraged requires strength and courage.  It is easy to give up or to do the bare minimum; it takes strength and courage to keep going full speed with our hearts and minds fully engaged.  And this will come from the Lord.  Through His Word and His presence, He will see us through when we are tired and discouraged.

Today, heed the words of the Lord to Joshua.  He is with you and He will provide you with the strength and courage you need to make it through.

© Jim Musser 2017

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