Strength and Courage for Everyday Battles

Strength and Courage for Everyday Battles

Fear is a common foe for most of us, both in the large battles of life and the small, everyday ones. Fear of death. Fear of failure. Fear of being embarrassed. Fear of disappointing someone…

God understands those fears:

 Be strong and very courageous, in order to act carefully in accordance with all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, so that you may succeed wherever you go. This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise. Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:7-9  MEV

 Do you remember the context of these verses? Joshua had taken over the mantle of leadership after Moses. It was his job to lead two million or so Israelites across the Jordan and conquer the Promised Land. I’m sure Joshua felt plenty of fear as he contemplated the dangers and challenges ahead. It’s no wonder God needed to encourage him.

For Joshua, being strong and courageous meant acting as a wise chieftain and courageous general while he led his people to victories over their enemies–the same enemies the Israelites had been terrified of forty years earlier.

What does strong and courageous look like to you?

Before answering that question, notice it says we must be strong and courageous in order to act carefully in accordance with God’s laws.

We aren’t facing sword-wielding enemies or life-and-death situations. We probably haven’t been instructed to conquer walled cities by marching around them while tootling on ram’s horns. But we all need strength and courage to obey God’s will in our lives, especially in those moments when we’re scared about the repercussions of doing it His way.

What do you need courage for today?

To say “no” to something? Worse yet, to say “no” to someone. We hate to disappoint others, which often leads us to agree to obligations we have no business taking on.  It can take a lot of courage to say “no”, but sometimes it’s the best response. Even when it hurts to see the disappointment, perhaps even disapproval, in someone’s eyes. This can be especially difficult during the Christmas season, can’t it? So remain strong and courageous. Don’t take on things you know in your heart are not wise for you at this moment.

To give up something? Like our expectations for a perfect Christmas. We are bombarded by picture-perfect everything, so it’s no wonder we think we need to live up to certain standards of Christmas décor, goodies, and entertaining that push us well beyond our current reality. Be courageous and admit you can’t do it all. Instead, focus on being content, no matter your reality.

To change something? Perhaps you’ve reevaluated your priorities. You know you need to change certain things to better follow God’s will, but those changes will affect those around you. Like maybe you’ve determined to actually stay within budget, which means fewer gifts for everyone. Yikes! Be courageous enough to have conversations with your loved ones about why these changes are necessary. Their buy-in may not be as impossible as you think.

Be strong and courageous this December, and protect your ability to actually enjoy the season.

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About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.

Comments

  1. Being a creative entrepreneur has made me look at being strong and courageous in a different way. I need to reflect more on his word, pray more, listen more… to make sure I’m always heading in the direction he wants me to. I think its easy to get disappointed in this kind of life and give up… that’s what our enemy wants.

    I also think being strong and courageous for me means continuing on despite life’s obstacles (health problems, financial struggles…) it means bravely going forward when I don’t always know how things will turn out.

    This was a really good reminder, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Betz Reply:

    There is so much more to courage than facing physical danger. And for use women, the risks of disappointing others, or believing in ourselves, can be huge.

    [Reply]

  2. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) says:

    God did not give us the spirit of fear. Good post, Lisa. God walks beside us regardless of the challenge we face.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Betz Reply:

    And sometimes we forget he cares about the little things too, don’t we?

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  3. Excellent post, Lisa! Fear can be debilitating. I fear being alone, yeat I enjoy my alone time, if that makes any sense. As an extreme introvert, I fear meeting new people. I’d much rather become part of the woodwork, yet I know I need more outside contact.

    Your using the story of God encouraging Joshua reminds me of an old song, one of my favorites. The chorus starts, “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible, and He can do what no others can do.”

    Great words, huh?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Betz Reply:

    Yes, love them. I’ll have to sing that in my head the next time I fear some “impossible” task.

    [Reply]

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