Joshua 1:9 - Courage in Calamity: The Dynamics.

Joshua 1:9 - Courage in Calamity: The Dynamics.

Joshua 1:9 (TNIV) 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 (NLT) This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do 
not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you 
wherever you go."  

Joshua 1:9 (CWR) What have I told you to do? I have told you to 
be strong and full of courage. Don't be afraid. Don't become 
discouraged or give up, because you don't have to do all this alone. The 
Lord your God will be with you every step of the way." 

   Joshua was about to lead a vast number of wilderness 
wanderers into the Land of Promise. The parents of these wanderers had 
once noted how intimidating the land's inhabitants were, but Joshua 
had defended God's promise Now he would see God's promise fulfilled. 
But he would have to be strong and courageous. And he would have to 
remember that God would never leave him or forsake him.  
   We have to remember that too. We know in our heads that God 
will never leave us or forsake us, but when a crisis hits, we often 
feel like He already has. In moments of confusion or pain, we can get 
really disoriented The God who seemed like He was on our side yesterday 
suddenly seems like He doesn't even know our names. In those times of 
confusion, we need to insist to ourselves what we know to be true: that He 
hasn't left and He isn't going to. He is still on our side.  
   Like Joshua, we face big moments of decision, times when we 
have to put our faith on the line and be strong and courageous. We 
may fear the outcome, but we don't have to. Even if the outcome 
isn't what we expected, God will be with us in the surprise or 
disappointment. But He will also be with us in many victories. Whatever we have 
to walk through, He is there.  
   Stake everything on that, no matter how present or absent He 
seems to be. Trust Him even when you can't sense Him. He made a 
binding promise to be with you. And He never breaks a promise.  
   Father, thank You for being with me. No matter what happens, 
I know you place victory - in one way or another - in my path. You 
will lead me into many lands of promise. And on the way there, Your 
being with me means everything. [The One Year Experiencing God's 
Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 

   Joshua was about to lead Israel into the Promised Land, so 
God gave him some vital instructions. Among those instructions was a 
command of encouragement: "Be strong and courageous." In fact, God 
repeated it often enough to indicate that Joshua must have been having 
some major struggles with fear. He apparently was focusing on the 
enormity of the task rather than the enormity of his God.  
   We do that often, and our fear can actually hinder our 
experience of God's Presence. But when we do encounter God, fear has to 
flee. When we get a sense of His strength as well as His favor toward 
us, obstacles seem to become smaller and enemies seem to become less 
threatening. God becomes our greater preoccupation. As Oswald Chambers once 
wrote, "The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear 
God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear 
everything else." An encounter with God is the antidote to whatever we 
   Fear of enemies and obstacles cannot survive in the Presence 
of God. As your awe of Him grows, mountains shrink and problems 
unravel. Solutions that once seemed impossible now seem unavoidable. 
Feeling alone causes you to feel overwhelmed with heavy burdens; but 
sensing Him causes you to feel overwhelmed only with Him. When that 
happens, following the command is easy: Be strong and courageous.  
   Lord, I feel overwhelmed often, but I know a glimpse of You 
can radically change my perspective. Please overshadow my fears and 
worries with Your strength. Help me be strong and courageous in every 
challenge I face. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by 
Chris Tiegreen re Jos. 1:9] 

   Jill Briscoe tells the story of racing to a friend's business 
complex in down-town Belfast that had just been blown up by IRA bombs. 
At the scene, she found dense smoke and turmoil as people dashed in 
and out of charred rooms to salvage things while loud alarms kept 
   How was her friend dealing with the catastrophe? He stood in 
the midst of his ruined business with a spirit of peace and 
tranquility. When a fireman came by, he thanked him for his help and said, 
"Don't stay too late. Take your men home. Tomorrow is the Lord's Day, 
and we all need to be ready to worship him."  
   Briscoe was stunned, humbled, and grateful to God for his 
evident grace in this man.  
   Catastrophes of many sorts can suddenly rip into our lives. 
Highway accidents. Cancer. Divorce. How do we experience the depth of 
faith that Jill's friend showed in crisis? Clearly, the man had his 
spiritual priorities in place. Not even calamity could keep him from 
worship or from encouraging others in the faith.  
   Consistency in prayer, worship, and fellowship - despite all 
the pressures we feel - can daily prepare us for crises. It also 
enables us to endure the drip, drip, drip of constant irritations. Every 
day has its share of troubles, but also new opportunities for 
spiritual growth. The more we seek God daily, the more likely it is that 
peace and tranquility will override our anxieties and fears.  
   Sometimes calamity rouses our fears, but even in the best of 
times we can feel afraid. For instance, Jill says that on her wedding 
day, she froze in fear, paralyzed. For a long time, her mother and 
sister were unable to snap her out of it.  
   Who knows all the reasons brides can get paralyzed, but in 
that context, Jill says this: "Fear points its finger at all the 
things that are bound to go wrong, but faith directs our attention 
toward a Father who tells us, 'Jesus is there.' Faith lends us words to 
call on the Holy Spirit to release us from panic."  
   Lord, I pray that you'll fill me with your Holy Spirit of 
peace when I experience calamity or when I fear what's about to 
happen. Grant me the courage that comes only from your presence.  
   This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be 
afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you 
go. Joshua 1:9, NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold 

   Alan Paton said that when he faced an insurmountable problem, 
he always thought of German aircraft dropping tons of 
high-explosive and incendiary bombs on London in 1940. "While Londoners 
sheltered in basements, strategic and historic buildings burned above 
their heads. If this kept going on, nothing would be left of London." 
   Paton remembered Winston Churchill's proclamation: "'To the 
basements' must be replaced by, 'To the roofs!'" The citizens of London 
rallied to the cause, and Churchill later said, "Many became adept, and 
thousands of fires were extinguished before they took hold. The experience 
of remaining on the roof night after night under fire, with no 
protection but a tin hat, became habitual."  
   Sometimes, we may feel hunkered down in the basement of our 
lives with all sorts of incendiaries exploding above us. We want 
protection from the fires and the explosions of our troubles. Yet, staying 
hunkered down may not be nearly as safe as scurrying up the stairs and 
onto the roof to fight the flames.  
   Alan Paton, author of Cry, the Beloved Country, was a 
courageous Christian who battled apartheid in South Africa. He endured 
persecution and bitter hostility, yet he kept the faith, like a Londoner on 
a burning roof. "There is only one thing I can do in times like 
these," he said. "I must ask to be made an instrument of God's peace, so 
that one more healing stream may flow into the river of hate."  
   Whatever our circumstances, we can either call on the Lord to 
help us stand firm or we can give in to our fears.  
   Paton prayed, "Lord, save us from a retreat into hatred or 
despair. Call us out of the shelters and send us up to the roofs, even if 
day and night we are under fire. May we remain calm in the midst of 
violence and panic, and may reason and love and mercy and understanding 
rule our lives."  
   Lord, please grant me courage and integrity when I'm called 
to stand fast in difficult times. Equip me for what's ahead. Fill 
me with your Spirit and make me an instrument of your peace.  
   This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be 
afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you 
go. Joshua 1:9, NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold 


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