“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
Our family of five gathered for prayer around Kevin, the oldest sibling. After 21 years, it was our last night together under one roof.
Kevin was leaving the next morning for basic training in the United States Air Force.
This was a big deal for our close-knit clan. Although we knew where he would be for the next eight weeks of training, there was much trepidation and uncertainty about the future. My husband started the prayer. Next came his brother and sister. When it was my turn, the knot in my throat and tears that threatened to spill from my eyes prevented even a whisper. It didn’t help that I could hear the labored breathing and sniffling of the rest of the family. My mind was like a blank canvas.
Nothing. I had nothing.
Soon, my broken heart caught up to my brain as an onslaught of unanswered questions set in like a storm. Would Kevin be okay? Where would they send him after training? Is he ready for this? I cried out to Jesus inside my head. Like an instantaneous heavenly download, peace silenced my stormy thoughts replacing them with Scriptures about courage and trusting in the Lord.
One of the hardest things to do as parents is to release our grown children to the world.
But Who better to understand this than our Heavenly Father? After all, He released His only Son, Jesus, to this world knowing the outcome would bring victory over fear and death. And He knows our (and our children’s) future and outcome, too.
Did you know “Fear not” is the most repeated phrase in the Bible?
God wants us to learn to take our fears to Him. This is where a great exchange takes place. When we submit our fear, God has room to provide us with the courage only He can give. If we have Jesus, we are never alone. As long as we hold on to the promises in His word, we will have all the wisdom, courage, and comfort we need for every one of life’s situations.
Have you been held in fear’s grip over something? God wants to exchange that fear for His courage.
All you must do is ask.
Scripture tells us that perfect love expels ALL fear (1John 4:18). Scripture also says that NOTHING can ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8: 38-39). The enemy, however, wants us to remain a prisoner of fear. This is not God’s will for His dearly loved children.
God wants to free you from the grip of fear today.
Take captive those fearful thoughts using the mighty weapons the Lord has provided (1 Corinthians 10:4-5)
In demonstrating the pattern of repetition of Scripture, I’d say the Joshua 1:9 verse bears repeating.
But let’s try something different. Insert your name in the blank (or a family member’s, or friend’s) before each sentence and read it aloud:
“_________, be strong and courageous. _______, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with _________wherever you go.”
Now repeat it again. And again. And again. Make it YOURS. We cannot go wrong when using God’s Word as our prayers!
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