BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS
Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.
For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither
fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
With a global crisis, yet again, fear is looming at our doors. Our enemy is relentless in his pursuit to drag us down with him.
But – he is forgetting something. Our God will PERSONALLY go ahead of us.
I don’t know about you, but I needed this reminder today. My God. MY God. My GOD. The LORD. THE LORD. His name here in Hebrew is YAHWEH ELOHIM – our Self-Existing God in His Triune existence. Our God is going ahead of us. Every facet of God is on the move just for us.
How can we fear? He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). I believe that we need that self-discipline so we take our heart and mind in the hand and tell them to believe in the Truth. My heart wanders, it festers in disbelief. My mind is easily distracted. So, I have got to do what I know to do – take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and I have to fix my eyes straight ahead, make a straight path for my feet, and do not get sidetracked (Proverbs 4:25-27).
I think it boils down to faith. Do I have faith to believe? I was going to type – Do I have enough faith to believe? But, I think that’s wrong thinking. Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith and He gives us our faith as well as challenges us to grow in it.
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome
my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 NLT
The father DID believe but he had doubts. I think this is the better explanation of our circumstances. We believe, but we have doubts. It’s normal, one could say. It does not mean that it is the way of Christ to entertain doubts. Satan puts the doubts in our head – that’s not the sin. It’s when we believe those doubts and ruminate on them, then we have unbelief. Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is paramount. Vital. Crucial.
Jesus replied, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if
you believe?” John 11:40 NLT
Sign me up for seeing God’s glory! Yes, I want to see His glory in every aspect of my life. How is it possible? Jesus us gives us the how. Believe. Believe in Him. Trust in Him. Have faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). When I go about my life with unbelief, doubts, lack of faith – I am not pleasing God. Plain and simple.
There are many global events as well as personal events happening at the moment. Some are terrifying, other concerning while still others irritating. What is my role in them? Believe that the LORD my God will personally go before each circumstance. He is good and does good (Psalm 119:68) and He works for our good (Romans 8:28).
Being strong and courageous is impossible. Flat out impossible. However, God is our Strength. He is our courage. And nothing is impossible for Him and with Him. Get this:
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power
of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Notice it’s more than one weakness, there is boasting involved, and we benefit from sharing about our weaknesses. Christ’s infinite power will work through us. It will be in us. All around us. Unmistakable power shining in us. It will be brilliant for all the world to see which will bring God glory.
I need Christ’s matchless power in me. I cannot do life without it. My feet remind me every day that life is hard. Reading the news is overwhelming. Talking with others is heart rending. But my weaknesses + Christ’s power = pleasing God.
I started off my day thinking about God’s grace and what it looks like in the midst of suffering. How can the church sing when bombs or tankers are rumbling in the neighborhood? How can a Christian sing when a loved one is dying? How can I keep going in my suffering of broken feet? Does God’s grace shine even brighter in these circumstances?
Someone close to me shared: “It (God’s grace) always shines, but it can shine even brighter in the darkest moments where we feel the most despair.”
That’s it. His grace shines even brighter in our darkest hour. Because it is so dark, His light is that much brighter. A little tiny votive candle in a large dark sanctuary shines bright enough for us to find our way. When there is light all around we miss the little votive. But when darkness comes – pain, suffering, persecution, fear, doubt – God’s light is there in all its brilliance. God’s light is Jesus and He is the Light of the world.
God is personally going before, shining His grace light and He will never abandon us. He is faithful, has been faithful and we can trust Him in our future because He has gone on before.
My comfort is great in this truth.
LORD my God, I thank You for Your faithfulness. I thank You that You personally go before me in each and every circumstance. I can be at peace knowing You are with me. I can sing even when it seems dark because Your Son is shining His grace in, through and all around me. I believe, Lord. I believe. AMEN