Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9
Nothing in your life surprises God. Every event, every conversation, every joy, and every sorrow — He has either planned or allowed all these. He knows that life on this planet will mean trials, pain, heartache, and challenges.
After Moses’ death Joshua faced an overwhelming challenge; he had enormous shoes to fill when he stepped up to lead Israel. The Almighty knew that Joshua would have occasion to feel weak, overwhelmed, and discouraged. He also knew that Joshua had legitimate reasons to fear and be dismayed. And God spoke to those needs, which are your needs as well: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed.”
But God didn’t stop there for Joshua — and He doesn’t stop there for you. He gives you an empowering reason why you needn’t fear or be discouraged: “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So whenever you face something that makes you feel anything but strong and courageous, remind yourself that God is with you. And put one foot in front of the other one more time.
Thank You, Lord, for being with me wherever I go. With You as my source of strength and encouragement, I can face any challenge.
Wings Like Eagles
Think of the iconic image of an eagle soaring on the breeze. Did you know that eagles have a seven-foot wingspan and are able to carry well over their body weight? With incredible strength and speed, they can appear to be motionless in hurricane-force winds. And as they soar and dive, they appear to do so effortlessly.
With these facts in mind, consider the promise in Isaiah 40:31 that you “shall mount up with wings like eagles.” Yes, you will grow weary as you journey through life, but you don’t have to stay at that low point. Turn to God; wait on Him. Open His Word and remind yourself of His strength, power, and love. Let God know what He already knows, that you are feeling overwhelmed. Let Him lift you up.
One more eagle fact: in contrast to some birds, the eagle is never left incapacitated during molting, when all its feathers are replaced each year. Similarly, as you wait upon the Lord, you will find yourself replenished and renewed inside and out. As you rest in His strength, you will find your hopelessness replaced by hope, your weariness by energy, and your fear by courage.
God, thank You for drawing near to me when I am in need of the renewal only You can give.
Ready for Battle
King David was not only a shepherd but also a warrior. He knew the battlefield — its demands, the strategies for success, the roles that courage and faith play, and which weapons were necessary for victory and survival. No wonder he talks about God and life in military terms in many of his psalms.
This battle imagery continues in the New Testament — the battle between God and Satan is still very real. Paul wrote, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” (Ephesians 6:12).
So David’s ancient words about God as his strength, his shield, and his refuge are as relevant today as they were on the Israelite battlefield centuries ago. We still need Him to be the source of our strength, our shield of protection from the powers of darkness, and our refuge from “principalities” that want our destruction. We would also do well to follow David’s example of rejoicing in the Lord and praising Him with song, knowing that He has already won the battle!
My enemies aren’t visible, Lord, but I know the battle rages. Please be my shield as I fight to stand strong in my faith.
Excerpted with permission from 100 Favorite Bible Verses, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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We may feel weak, overwhelmed, and discouraged. We may grow weary, but we can always, at any moment, turn to God and wait upon Him. His Word is our strength. He has already won the battle!