Installed as a leader
This passage from Joshua in the Old Testament is while the Lord was installing Joshua as a leader. Now you might not consider yourself a leader, but I think that’s not true. Most of us have a sphere of influence. People we effect on a daily or weekly basis. For most of us that’s in our home, church or work, but for others it could be the cashier at the grocery store, the gas station attendant or the doctors and nurses who take care of us. As a leader, or one who influences others, we are to all things to glorify God. But how do we do that? What’s God’s advice to the leader He installed oh so long ago?
Be strong and courageous
I don’t know about you but this sounds like a tall order. My family has been fighting off a cold all week and I’m not sure strong is the word I would use to describe my feelings. But this verse doesn’t say feel strong and courageous, it says, “Be Strong and Courageous”. You don’t have to feel that way, but with God on our side, we can go boldly ahead for Him.
Do not be afraid
Again, not always so easy. I sometimes suffer from anxiety. I think of how everything could go wrong, and then I’m sure it will happen that way. This morning it happened again (I’m writing this at 5:12 am). I woke up at 3:30. Worked from 4am to 5am. Then I started working on my blog. Why am I up so early? The version I want to tell you says that I was uncomfortable with my cold, but that’s only part of it. I actually woke up concerned about something, and then couldn’t get it out of my head. I ran it around in my head a million times (ok not really – but a lot). Finally I decided better to get up and distract myself with work. What am I anxious about? I’m afraid that things wont go the way I hoped. I get nervous that things won’t work out for the best. That I will be the cause of someone else’s problems. While I was lying in bed debating what to do (get up or pretend I was asleep), I kept praying that I would give it over to God. Then I come to write my blog and am faced with a phrase like “Do not be afraid.” Anxiety is fear. I have to let go and let God. I’m sure it will all work out.
Do not be discouraged
We live in a society where we want everything to happen now. We’re relatively impatient, and expect things to happen and go the way we intended. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, things do not go as planned. We even do that with our friends and family we want to reach for the Lord. We want to be good witnesses. We want to help them to know the Lord. We probably all have friends or family we’ve been praying for over the years, but still don’t know the Lord. But the Lord tells us not to be discouraged. We need to trust in His timing and His plan. As Americans, this is a big pill to swallow. We want it done now!!
So how do we go on not being discouraged or afraid?
Lord your God will be with you wherever you go
Our hope is in the Lord, knowing that He is with us wherever we go is our comfort. We can call on Him at anytime and He’s there. Just like Joshua was leading the Israelite nation, we have our circle of influence (ok, it might be a bit smaller than Joshua’s). We can put our fears and discouragements aside and lean on the Lord, our hope and confidence.