This week's memory verse:
"No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." -- Joshua 1:9
Are there things in your life that scare you? If you have a pulse...then chances are, you are scared from time to time. Many times, situations, problems and difficulties seem as big and scary as angry giants trying to squish us. We feel too small, meek and weak to fight off those giants sometimes. But we have to remember that we are not alone, and we can call on God to give us the strength we need to fight.
In the Bible, Joshua was preparing to lead the new generation of Israelites into the promised land. He had Moses' big shoes to fill and a people who were notoriously rebellious and disobedient. The promised land was also filled with its own problems, many of them REAL giants that Joshua and his arm would have to fight. He had many reasons to be scared.
But God gave him some words of comfort and encouragement. "Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
When my daughter was very small, I took her to Bible school at a new church (the church that is my home now). That year was a very challenging one for me, and I was definitely scared and discouraged at the time. I think Bible school did more for me than it did for her. One of the catchy songs they taught the kids that summer was Joshua 1:9. It was a very rememberable tune and very repetitious, and I learned it right along with my daughter. That song has stuck with me over the years, and I have found myself singing it when having surgery, when worrying about my husband's car accident...that reminder that God is with you ALL THE TIME, and that we are not to be scared and discouraged has helped me so much.
Isaiah 54:16-17 is another encouraging verse. God reminds us that he created the devil and the men who make the weapons that are used against us. He controls them...He has the devil on a short leash...God will not let them destroy us...He will make sure that all things work out for the best.
Verse 17 says that he does that to vindicate us. I looked up the word vindicate...it means to deliver, avenge, free from blame, defend. God wants to take care of us.
David knew this when he wrote Psalm 18:33-34 - God arms me with strength. He makes me quick and powerful and shows me how to fight.
When you believe and trust that there is a powerful God watching over you, you can allow yourself to learn from the lessons God is teaching you. God teaches us how to fight the devil...by relying on GOD, instead of ourselves.
So, if you are feeling discouraged, weak, tired, scared and lazy right now...reach out to God. Pick up His word and read his words of encouragement. Be strong and courageous...God is with you!