As I sat down at the computer tonight to write this post, I was moving some of the things that had gotten placed on my desk when I noticed a small book that my wife had been given on her birthday. It is a Helen Steiner Rice book titled “A Touch of Hope.”
The title got my attention and I thought to myself “I could really use a touch of hope right now.” So I opened up the book to a random page and the following verse of Scripture was leaping off the page at me.
9 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 NLT
When I first read this verse I thought to myself, “I’m not scared.” So I must admit that I turned towards the front of the book and starting looking at the content page. ”Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Wait, there is more to this verse than just being afraid. It says so right there in the verse. So I returned to the original page and there it was, “Do not be discouraged.”
Discouragement occurs much more often in my life than fear. Yes there are things that I fear, just show me a snake and I will show you fear. But it seems like discouragement is much more of a constant companion in my life.
Discouragement comes at us from all different angles. Sometimes when we least expect it, discouragement just reaches up and slaps us in the face. And sometimes it comes because we do expect it, we even bring it on ourselves at times.
But regardless of how or why we get discouraged it is comforting to know that we are not alone. We sometimes forget this as the discouragement grows, but God does not forget us. This short verse in Joshua tells us so much.
- Be strong
- Be courageous
- Don’t be afraid
- Don’t be discouraged
- God is with you.
No matter where you go, what your problems are, what issues you are facing; God is with you.
We all need to be reminded from time to time not to get discouraged. Sometimes it is difficult to follow this command. But the good news is that this command is not conditional. It does not say to that God will be with us if we are strong and courageous. It says that we should be strong and courageous because God is with us.
This means that in those times when we aren’t as strong as we would like to be, those times when we don’t feel so brave, or those times that we are getting discouraged; it is ok, God is still with us. He will be there to strengthen us. He will be there to pick us up. He will be there to carry us if necessary. ”For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I take comfort in this knowledge, and I rely on Him daily to give me strength.