Be Strong and Courageous

Myrna Folkert

Read: Joshua 1:5-9

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (v. 9 NIV)

Does fear constrain you from what the Lord calls you to do? It’s not easy to follow God when we feel pressures on all sides. We all have fears that seem to loom so large—fears for our children, work pressures, and violence in the world.

In this passage, the Lord affirmed to Joshua that he would be with him to lead the Israelites and help him overcome his fears. He would be facing armies, fierce opposition, and treacherous territory without his trusted mentor, Moses. Now it was his responsibility to lead the people. Several times the Lord commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, gracious encouragements to trust God. The Lord also told him to meditate on Scripture day and night and to obey its instruction so he would have good success wherever he went (v. 7).

God doesn’t want us to live in fear. Rather, he gives believers “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). He also commands us to fear not. We need to have the Holy Spirit’s power to obey and to overcome fear with faith, constantly engaging in God’s Word and praying to him. Developing closeness with God is a lifelong process of growing spiritually. God promises to be with us too as Jesus said (Matt. 28:20). He sent us his Holy Spirit to be our constant companion and guide. —Myrna Folkert

Prayer: Mighty Father, help me to draw upon the Holy Spirit’s power whenever I’m fearful.