Don’t Be Dismayed

Let’s face it.  There are times in our lives when the path ahead seems too hard to trod.  The circumstances we face seem insurmountable.  We are tempted to give up on our hopes, our dreams, our goals.  We say to ourselves, “That is it!  I cannot make it!  I quit!  I can’t go on!”  As I was reading in the Book of Joshua during my daily Bible reading time, I came across a couple of verses in Chapter 1 that really spoke to my heart and encouraged me to press on in the difficult times.

Joshua is now the leader of the children of Israel.  Moses had died, and God is now ready to use Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.  There would be difficult days ahead, and the Lord is now preparing him to move forward.  Forty years earlier, they were at this very crossroad of going into the land, but the children of Israel saw the giants of the land and all the obstacles that they would face and they lost the courage to go in.  Isn’t life like that?  We have hopes and dreams, goals that lie before us and challenges to be conquered, but the obstacles we face seem to be too big to overcome.  Well, God is at work here with Joshua to prevent a repeat of the past and to give him what he needs to press on towards the goal.  Joshua 1:5 says,

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

We have here a great picture of the eternal God.  He was with Moses in the past, He is with Joshua now, and He will be with Joshua in the future–all the days of his life.  The Bible says of Jesus in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”  He is the eternal God.  He always was, He is, and He always will be!  Moses may be dead, and Joshua today is dead as well, but Jesus Christ is still alive and risen from the dead.  He is still the same God today as He was then, and He is available with the same promises to us today! What an encouragement!  So what do we have in Joshua 1:5?  The promises of God!

  1. “I will be with thee.”– He has promised you His presence.  He is with you!
  2. “I will not fail thee.”– You may feel like you are failing, but God is not failing.  He always wins!  Stay in the game!
  3. “I will not forsake thee.”– You can rest assured that God will not turn His back on you.  He is for you.  He is on your team!

So you are facing big problems in your life?  Remember, there is a God in heaven that loves you and is for you.  He offers you His promises.  Don’t quit and don’t turn away from God.  Turn to Him.  If you are winging it on your own, isn’t it time to accept God into your life and get His help?  Why face the obstacles alone?  Find your strength in Him today!  Now to the second verse that touched my heart.  Joshua 1:9 says,

Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage;  be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed;  for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.

We have a commandment from God.  Don’t be afraid, and don’t be dismayed.  Dismayed means “to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble.”  When trouble arises and obstacles seem big, they tend to cause us to be afraid and lose courage.  How do you get your courage back?  How do you press on?  Get your focus off of yourself and your inabilities and weaknesses, and get your eyes off of the obstacles.  Put your eyes squarely on Jesus!  He is with you.  He is able.  He will not forsake you and He will not fail you.  You may be weak, but that is when you can turn to Him and find out just how great He is!  By remembering this great truth, you can keep going.  You don’t have to quit.  You can be a conqueror with Jesus Christ!