Guest Contributor: Amy Worley
My simple thoughts…
I have been digging into God’s commands to us. Not just The Ten Commandments, but other commands given to us in His word. One in particular that has been ever present in my mind is found in Matthew 22:37 Thou shalt love The Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. More than likely I will be blogging about it again before too long.
The verse I am focused on right now is Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
First off it’s a command, so it caught my attention. When there is a command from God there is no mulling it over. There is no wondering, “should I” “shouldn’t I””what does this mean?”. It’s simple. Do it. If I disobey I am sinning. Doesn’t mean it’s always easy for me. Doesn’t mean I don’t fail often. But God is faithful to strengthen me to do what He has commanded me to do.
Be of good courage (or be courageous).
Be not afraid.
Be not dismayed.
I looked up dismay, because it wasn’t as easily defined as the other words.
1: to cause to lose courage or resolution (as because of alarm or fear)
2: upset or perturb
One of the synonyms of dismayed is frustrated. How often do I say, “I’m so frustrated”? Some other synonyms are disheartened, discouraged, depressed, saddened, distressed, troubled, weakened, and frightened.
Some antonyms of dismayed are emboldened and encouraged.
Be not dismayed means don’t be frustrated, don’t be discouraged, don’t be depressed… So, to me the opposite of dismayed is joyful. Be joyful. Which brings me around to another subject of recent focus. Joy.
I have mentioned other thoughts I have had about joy in previous blog posts. The song “The Joy of The Lord is My Strength” has come to my mind quite often lately, and it makes me think… If the joy of the Lord is my strength, then in order to be strengthened I must dwell in the joy of the Lord (choose joy).
Sometimes it’s not so easy to just be strong, to be courageous, to not be afraid, and to be joyful. Sometimes I fight it. So often it’s a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:12, 2 Peter 5:8). Often the fight is going on in my head – in my thoughts. A friend of mine recently said, “Our thinking is either based on truth or lies, there is no middle ground. We are either obeying or sinning.” God has been teaching me that His words to me are never negative or discouraging (2 Tim. 1:7, Phil 4:7-9, 2 Cor. 10:5), and that I should focus on His words to me. If the thoughts in my head are negative or discouraging, and they are not from God, where do they originate?
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with these issue which is why I thought it was important to share. When I am feeling “dismayed” it helps me to say “Get the behind me Satan!”(Luke 4:8) and “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
I am encouraged that it is possible to Be Strong, Be Courageous, Not be Afraid, and Be joyful, because The Lord my God is with me everywhere I go!
Amy Worley is a fellow blogger who let us re-post one of her articles. You can find the original on her blog here. Content used by permission. Thanks for reading!
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