Be Strong and Courageous

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

God continues to remind me to be strong and courageous and that He is with me wherever I go. When I choose to listen and accept this truth, there is much joy and peace; when I don’t…well, their will or can be anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, and I can’t forget pride.

A great example is starting this blog. It has taken me over a year to figure out what I wanted to blog about and then to actually create and start it. I’ve had a couple of ideas and I’ve been doing a lot of research on just what to blog, though the biggest obstacle has been fear. Fear of “Do I have what it takes to be a blogger? I am not good enough. What are people going to think of my writing? Can I keep people’s attention with my writing?” And many other thoughts that kept me from digging in and just getting it done.

I have learned that fear cripples me from living the life I could and should be living according to God’s plan for me. Fear makes me hide from what God is asking me to do. I make a very good Jonah; I am just like him when God tells me to do something that I don’t want to do or can’t see how it is going to benefit by actually doing it. Can anyone relate? I get so mad at God sometimes with what He asks me to do, though, after pondering it and talking through my thoughts/concerns with Him, and sometimes even a close friend, I eventually do what God has asked me to. Sometimes I just need to see or/and understand the situation a little more clearly before acting and there is nothing wrong with that when my heart is in the right place.

The fear of messing up is huge as well, though, God continues to remind me that I’m not perfect and He can (and will) use my mistakes to His glory. Perfectionism is a huge weakness of mine and I’ve been recently learning to embrace my imperfections as they allow God’s light to shine through them just like if something has a crack in it; you can see the light shining in through it. :-} So, I’ve decided to embrace my imperfections/cracks, face my fears and jump in the blogging world and see where God has me land.

As the above scriptures say and remind us, the Lord does go before us and is always with us, so that we can be strong and courageous. I want and need to live in a way that I believe these words of my God, who says He will never leave or forsake me. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I would love to hear about how you are facing your fears and/or embracing your imperfections.

Here are some other scriptures I go to when I am feeling anxious and afraid. I pray they will help you as well.

Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do anything through him who gives me strength.

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 32:7 – You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 56:3-4 – When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Proverbs 29:25 (NLT) – Fearing man is a dangerous trap, but trusting in the Lord means safety.

Psalm 105:4 – Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.