At the beginning of the book of Joshua, God spoke told Joshua a lot of things that must have seemed unbelievable. The Israelites had wandered in the desert for forty years and now they were poised to cross over the Jordan into the land God had promised Abraham many years earlier. But not everything going forward would be easy. They would have to conquer many people of the land who had lived there for many of the 400 plus years that the Israelites had been in Egypt and the desert. This would be a big challenge for them, the biggest of their lives.
Speaking in Joshua 1:6, God encourages Joshua to “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous.” I don’t know about you but after over 400 years of challenges, I believe I would have trembled in my knees at the prospects now of having to do something I had never before done nor been trained to do. I would have been afraid. I would have been discouraged.
But now I know there is something greater than my fear. Tough things are a part of life, but we serve a God who will help us through the tough things to find the great things that await us. When God is in your tough stuff, you can be certain He plans to bring you through to something greater. You may not see or know His plan for you as clearly as Joshua did, but knowing or not knowing His plan doesn’t mean His plan for you is not there and sure. As with Joshua He simply asks that you don’t decide when things are over for you because He holds the key to the beginning and the end of all things.
So today I want to encourage you by helping you find the courage of life to “be strong and of good courage” (God’s way of saying it), because where there is good courage, many of life’s challenges cannot stand against us.
How do we find this good courage? First, we must learn to deal with fear. Fear is a thief. It is not the opposite of faith; fear is the absence of faith. Fear is your inner weaknesses telling you to believe everything your mind tells you to see. Fear says, “Seeing is believing.” Faith says, “Believing is what you have not seen yet.” Joshua saw what was ahead of him and the Israelites, but He believed what God said. Fear wants to make you get off track from what God has planned for you. Don’t listen to your fear. Conquer fear with faith and belief in the Word of God.
Next, learn to keep yourself from discouragement. To be discouraged is to remove courage from your life and your circumstance. Like fear, discouragement arises from the sense of “seeing is believing.” The devil wants you to believe everything you see so he can make you discouraged about what you want but can’t see. So, learn to keep discouragement out of your life. Where there is fear, there is belief is something not real. Where there is belief in something not real, there is discouragement in wanting what is real yet unseen.
Finally, learn to be encouraged. Encouragement is learning how live with a faithful expectation that what you cannot see is the land where all your promises of life can be had. The devil wants you to forget what you should remember about believing what God says, and he wants you to remember what you should forget about your circumstances. So, he hates it when you start adding encouragement to your life because it is God’s way of saying to him, “It’s all over for you!” So, learn to live a life filled with encouragement and you will never be discouraged for long when the tough times come your way. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.