Be Not Dismayed

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed.” Joshua 1: 9

Moses had died. What an intimidating moment. The foreboding country and the formidable city of Jericho lay ahead of Joshua. If that were not enough he had a band of whiners to lead.

Under those frightful conditions it is little wonder God said to Joshua, “….don’t be afraid, nor be dismayed….”

Those conditions would cause anyone to be afraid. That is bad enough, but the fact it leads to being dismayed compounds the complexity. Dismayed is not a word in the working vocabulary of most people. It means to be filled with alarm, apprehension, or distress, a feeling of hopelessness, disappointment, or discouragement, a sudden loss of courage or confidence, and finally to give up and quit. God was saying don’t give up, don’t be dismayed.

Make your prayer these lines from the old hymn, “I’m Pressing On to Higher Ground:”

“My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.”

Getting back on your “A” game and regaining momentum is often difficult.

There are stimuli that enable us to “be strong and of good courage?” Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the mastery of it. The root is in being consciously aware “…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Strength comes from within being aroused by concentrating on that fact, believing in it, and obeying God’s word. Your strength is found in the word of God and in meditating on it day and night. 

It is a strength that is lived out by mediating on, believing in, and obeying the word of God. It is strength that comes from an awareness of God’s abiding presence and relying on it.

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for God’s powers equal to your tasks.

Fear is a magnifying factor. Envision any challenge you have and before giving up consider it through the resources afforded in this text. 

Jesus told us His reason for His teaching: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)

You have been forewarned, you will have tribulation, don’t act surprised when you do, expect it, and respond as instructed in the Posts. If you do, you are unlikely to be dismayed, that is, give up. Instead, be of good cheer.

Embrace and hold onto the truth in Joshua 1:9. Read it again.