Be Strong and Courageous!
Why do you read the Bible? Wait a second, maybe you’re a person who doesn’t read the Bible. If that’s the case, maybe the way to phrase my initial question is by asking, “Why do you think you should read the Bible?” Some of you might quote the Apostle Paul and say that the Bible “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). This is certainly a good reason to read the Bible. For me, I read the Bible because of how it cares for my soul with the way its words penetrate every aspect of my life, “even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). I read the Bible because in its words I find strength and encouragement. I read the Bible because it convicts me in those areas of my life that I keep secret. I read the Bible because it comforts me, when I need to be comforted. I read the Bible because it teaches me about my Savior.
This past weekend I went through my Bible and looked at the many verses I have underlined. Chances are that many of you have verses underlined in your Bible as well. We underline these verses because the words in them speak to us. They provide comfort to us. The words give us hope. So, for this week and the weeks to come, I would like to share with you some of the verses I have underlined in my Bible and tell you why I have that particular passage highlighted.
The first verse I ever underlined in a Bible comes from the book of Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). I love this verse! God commands us to be strong and courageous, to not be frightened or dismayed. In any circumstance of life, we are commanded to be strong and courageous. If it is a health issue – do not be afraid or discouraged. If it is a marital problem – be strong and courageous. If you have financial anxiety – do not be afraid or discouraged. If it is the death of a loved one – be strong and courageous. You see, we can be strong and courageous because as followers of Christ we find our hope, we find our encouragement, we find our strength, we find our courage, we don’t have to be afraid or discouraged, because we fasten our lives to the One who is with us in all circumstances of our lives. We fasten our lives to the One who will not leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:6).
This week, identify that aspect of your life where you need to be obedient to this command from God to be strong and courageous and do not be frightened or dismayed. Where in your life do you need to find comfort in His promise to be with you wherever you go?