‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
This verse was given to Joshua to help him carry out his huge burden of responsibility towards Israel.
It is a good verse to memorize being highly relevant to us all and a strength in troublesome times/difficult situations. Whatever we face in life, God knows all about it and we can rest assured that He is with us and will carry us through. Fear is the cause of worry and doubt; two un-necessary burdens that we choose to carry. We have been told not to worry yet our minds are so familiar with this process that we find it hard to trust God and let go. A small amount of fear is healthy and can act as a warning sign, but if we give in to it rather than using it wisely, fear has the power to drown us in a pool of incompetence and may affect our mental attitudes on a permanent basis.
Fear blocks our ability to be logical and often makes everything appear far worse than it really is. Fear tells us that we cannot cope, yet we have inner strength that can be conjured up when required, this is courage. Courage is a quality from within and requires a strong attitude of mind to apply. If we display some courage it helps us face situations and once we start to use it we can always generate more. When we do something out of our comfort zone we may feel nervous or fearful. It is quite usual to be in a position where we could embarrass ourselves yet not be in any danger. Real fear generated by real danger is different and we will need to be courageous, able to weigh a situation up and calculate the best move. A leader must not display fear to his followers if he wishes to maintain their trust and faith in him. God is our leader and will not let us down, a first class example providing a valuable lesson.
Fear of the unknown can sometimes be minimalized when we take the time to research a situation, find out customary practice or avenues of help. The more you know about something the easier it becomes to cope. Of course, some people suffer irrational fears but usually there Is a reason behind the fear, even if it appears unrelated. Common examples: previous experience, loss, lack of self confidence.
There are still many wars today just as there were in Joshua’s day, with fears being quite widespread and based on different things in life, often based on fear of change. We all go through changes in our lives and need to ask God to help us accept and prepare for them, trusting that everything will be alright.
Discouragement usually stems from a perceived lack of progress. God has His own timing, so if things are a little slow, we just need to trust Him and not become discouraged as stated in the verse. Discouragement reflects a demanding or childish attitude as it indicates a lack of determination or patience. We need to bide our time in life in order to achieve the desired results.
Next time you fell afraid or discouraged, just remember Joshua and the battle of Jericho!! Miracles happen and God is here as a constant source of comfort and strength to us all.