Strength and Courage
Have you ever felt intimidated, weak, unsure of what to do next, and perhaps a little fearful? Six months ago, the Lord moved my husband and me out of our comfort zone into a totally new situation. Everything was different. The only constant was the Lord and the fact that we were together.
For the first two months, I felt I was in limbo…not in Germany yet not here in Oklahoma City either. I just could not seem to get my bearings; couldn’t get interested in anything. Slowly things began to settle, but my emotions were still riding a roller coaster. One day I would feel settled and peaceful and then a few days later I was a mess again.
Today, as I was reading my Bible, the Lord began speaking to my heart. He was giving me the same instructions He gave Joshua so long ago. “Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9 KJV).
Granted this was written to a chosen leader in the Old Testament, but the Lord gives us the same instructions in the New Testament. In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10 KJV).
The key for you and me is to look past our circumstances, past our emotions, and to be strong in the Lord…our full dependence on Him. We may have little strength and every reason in ourselves to be uncertain, intimidated, and fearful. However, when we claim the reality that we are in Christ and He is in us, we can be strong and courageous. “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:17 KJV).
God told Joshua the reason for his strength and courage was because God was with him. Jesus Christ is with us wherever we go. “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
One would think after serving the Lord for so many years this would be a no-brainer for me. Of course, the Lord is with me, and I know my strength comes from Him, so why am I having a problem?
The problem comes when I do not discipline my thinking. (2 Corinthians 10:5) When I allow my thoughts to focus on myself and circumstances, my feelings will turn negative fast.
I’m sure I am not the only one that has had this experience. We are in a spiritual war and our enemy constantly works to distract us from our Lord. But be encouraged. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4 KJV).
Whatever situation you may be facing, make a choice; choose to put your thoughts back on Christ and His word. Then, through Him, you will be strong and courageous.