“Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8b
There is not one of us who does not need to hear some encouraging words from time to time. Think about it! Perhaps, you have been facing a health challenge; a financial set back; a job loss; have lost someone who was very important in your life; or have to face someone whose strength of character seems overpowering—these are some of the times when you and I need an encouraging word. Or, perhaps, we would be the ones to speak those words which would embolden another to face the challenges before them.
God knows the times in which we live. We need to listen, block out all the noise, and hear His encouraging words—“Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Don’t listen to the lies the evil one is trying to tell us. Those lies only serve to instill fear in our hearts. But, we have a Higher Power who tells us that He is with us and never will He leave us. Our undying faith in the God who created us and in His Word, will dispel all fear. It is this faith in which fear does not have a chance.
Fear is our human frailty, but it can be overcome when we hear, not only with our ears, but with our hearts that God is with us and actually goes before us. He may allow something devastating to seemingly be in control, but, if so, He has a reason. And “God will work all things for good for those who love Him.” (Romans 8:28)
Let’s look at Moses and Joshua for a moment. Moses was born a Hebrew, brought up by the Pharaoh of Egypt, had to flee Egypt because he was angered by an Egyptian who was mistreating a Hebrew slave and killed him; Moses fled Egypt and lived in the land of Midian; he married one of the daughters of the Priest of Midian and then after 40 years, God called him to bring His people out of Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land.
Moses was apprehensive about this call that he was receiving from God. But God, assured him that He would certainly be with Him. (Exodus 3:12) Over and over again God had to speak to Moses and reassure him that Moses should not be afraid, He would be with him. Moses was encouraged over and over again, the Lord indeed was with him.
Moses came to the end of his life when he reached the border of the land God had promised. He had lead this stiff-necked, complaining bunch of people forty years through the desert and now, he had to hand his staff over to Joshua to complete the journey into the Promised Land.
Joshua heard the words of the Lord, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be afraid or terrified…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Over and over again Joshua had to be told “Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for I am with you.” (Deut. 31:16, 8, 23. Joshua 1:6; 10:25)
Is this age we live in any different? NO! First of all, we are still a stiff-necked and complaining people. Second of all, these words are for now and forever. Whatever it is you are facing, you are not facing it alone—God is with you. Even when everything seems out of control, God is still in control. It is a beautiful thing when you can open up the eyes and ears of your heart and give everything over to Him. He knows the future and He has planned your way into it. It is when we keep fighting and insist upon our own control that everything is out of control. That sounds like double-talk, I know, but if you really think about it, you will agree. So, hear the words of the One who created all things, “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.” Hear not a discouraging word.
Let us pray
Dear Lord, help me to remember that you go before me and prepare the way ahead for me. Help me to gain confidence not in my own footing and ability, but in Your guidance and protection. Thank you for always being a few strides ahead. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
(Prayer by Eryn Lynum; All God’s Creatures; a Guideposts publication)
© Rev. Betty A Beach-Connell 2020, 10/20
His Spirit LLC