Be Strong & Courageous
by pastor Katie
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Deuteronomy 31:6-8
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
This week seems like it has dragged on. I’ve probably checked the news update app on my phone a hundred times today just to see how many cases of Coronavirus there are in Indiana now. Another hundred times to see what restrictions or needs there are in our community. I found myself getting increasingly anxious. The more I checked the more concerned I became.
Last night I was talking with one of my coworkers at the hospital. She asked me what verses she could use in her prayer for her church group that was meeting via tech to pray for the continuing situation in which we find ourselves today. So like any good pastor, I googled appropriate verses for the situation, paying particular attention to verses about God’s presence with us. Although I had another verse in mind for her prayer, Deuteronomy 31:8 caught my attention, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NIV) I knew that! But apparently God knew I needed the reminder.
It’s not that I fear for my own life, I just don’t like not knowing how this will affect those I love and care about. I don’t know what going to work each day will look like.
Isn’t it interesting that God had to tell the Israelites to be “strong and courageous?” If you think about it, they had just experienced over 40 years of God’s provision and guiding presence. Yet when they were faced with the uncertainty of entering the Promised Land and confronting those who already lived there, they were afraid. They needed a reminder. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Their strength and courage was founded in the presence of God with them.
We can take courage and be strong because God continues to be with us. He has promised never to leave us. We don’t have to face the uncertainty of today alone. We can trust our God to walk with us through whatever comes our way.
Song Suggestion Youtube link: The Afters Fear No More
Pray this prayer or one of your own:
Lord God today we lift up our fear and offer it to You again. Would you take that fear and place courage in our hearts–the courage to look to You, seek Your face in the midst of the chaos. Lord help us learn to trust You more completely with all that we are and all that we have.
Reflect with someone else or on your own:
- Where is God leading you? – (He led Israel into the Promised Land through the rushing waters of the Jordan, inspite of the giants that already were there.)
- What giants have kept you from following where God is leading you?