Day 16:  Strength and Courage

Lord, may these children be strong and courageous.  Help them to not be terrified or discouraged.  May they know that the Lord their God is with them wherever they go. May they be willing to stand for You.        Joshua 1:9

                                                                                                             In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

This is one of those prayers that we have prayed aloud over our children on a regular basis.  Fear is such a stronghold in our society.  Rates of anxiety have never been higher among our children and teens, so we must pray that fear and anxiety and weakness to peer pressure will not take root in our children, nor should it have its way in our own hearts.

The above verse comes from the book of Joshua in the Old Testament.  Joshua is one of my favorite Biblical characters, I guess because he is a person in whom I can relate.  Joshua outwardly appears so strong and courageous, yet inwardly must have dealt with fear and discouragement.  Repeatedly, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  In the first chapter of the book of Joshua we see that God told Joshua three different times to “Be strong and courageous”, and three different times God reminded Joshua that He would be with him, and that He would never leave him or forsake him.  And that is just in the first chapter.  Now why would God have to tell him so many times?  I think it is because Joshua was an ordinary man, called to an extraordinary job by his extraordinary God.  And because he was ordinary, just like me and you, he waxed and waned between great seasons of faith, courage and confidence, and fear, doubt, and discouragement.

Our children have been called by God to an extraordinary purpose.  The quickest way for the enemy of our souls to sidetrack those purposes is with fear and discouragement.  We must guide our children to the truth that only God will never forsake them.  Only God will be with them wherever they go.   I will let my children down.  I will not be able to be with them all the time.  In fact, it would not be healthy if they never gained independence from me.  But as they grow more independent from us as parents, they should grow more dependent on the only One who can really be there for them in every way they need.

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but it is the ability to press on despite the fear.  And true courage comes from the Source of all good things…God.

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