Are You Afraid or Discouraged?

Gwen Smith Blog 24 Comments

We see a vibrant example of courage and obedience in the book and life of Joshua. He served humbly and faithfully in the shadow of Moses until the Lord took Moses home and chose Joshua to be the next leader His people.

I’d be shaking in my size 10 shoes if I had to fill the sandals of Moses! I’m sure that in his humanness Joshua was intimidated too, but he was well trained because he had served under Moses for 40 years.

I mean – he wasn’t exactly a spring chicken when God gave him His incredible I-made-you-for-greatness and I’ve-got-your-back motivational talk. Have you ever thought of that?

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:5-9)

How cool is that?

Even though Joshua was well along in years when this Biblical conversation took place, approximately 80 years old, God gave him a new job. Can you even imagine? God called him up to bigger responsibilities because Joshua had been faithful with smaller responsibilities. And the Bible shows us that when God gave instructions Joshua obeyed.

He moved forward and followed as the Lord led.

I’m sure it helped that God encouraged him over and over again with, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Joshua 8:1)

Just like God wanted Joshua to trust Him with each new assignment, He wants us to trust and follow Him too – no matter our age. When He calls us to new things, we can be strong and courageous because God doesn’t expect us to do it alone. We have access to lean on His unending strength instead of our limited abilities.

When I feel like I’m in over my head I don’t need to shake in my shoes. And you don’t either. When God tell us to go – to move on to the next thing – to trust Him in a new adventure – we need to go!

Move forward and follow as the Lord leads.

Are you afraid or discouraged?

God will provide everything you need when you follow Him.

After all, when you follow God, you get in step behind the faithful Protector, Provider, Defender and Guide who will never leave or forsake you.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for having a purpose for every day You allow me to live. Help me to embrace what lies ahead, follow Your lead and trust You to provide everything I need.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Isaiah 41:10. What two things does the Lord instruct us NOT to do in this verse?

What four reasons does He give to explain why we shouldn’t do those two things?

Why should this matter to you?

What is one way you can apply this to your life today?

Write a prayer response in your journal or swing over to my blog and write one in the comments section.

Love doing life with you, friend. Cant wait to read your responses.

Blessings,
GWEN


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Comments 24

  1. My husband and I are trying to sell our house, people who were going to get it are picking at little things even though we refused it $20,000 to help them out…now we’re not sure if they will buy or not…we are paying double on insurance, electricity, security system, water, and a house payment…..we have been compassionate to them….we’re lost, both of us sick over this! We need this house to sell and it is valued at the original price. All I do is cry at drop of hat, husband and I are arguing over everything…no peace..lots of fear, waiting to hear from them and worried we might have to start over, we took house off market for over a month for them. Please pray for us both! Peace, acceptance, and an end to my crying and our arguing.I have a anxiety disorder and depression now my husband has ptsd from Vietnam …we love each other and have for over 40years, but this is testing is beyond our ability to talk and have peace between us…

  2. I will not be afraid as my 6 year old will be going on vacation with his father for a month. The first time he’ll be away from me and be with a man I do not trust. But God I will not fear or be dismayed for you will be with us as our God. You will strengthen us and uphold us because you are a merciful and faithful God. And you are not man that you will lie!

  3. I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me!!!! I am more than a conqueror! Thank you JESUS for the encouragement!! Stay Blessed!!

  4. Lord, I’m grateful for these words this morning. As Steve prepares to launch Champion Redevelopment his common theme is “I’m 50 and I can’t afford to fail again”. I believe you’ve given us a new hope and my husband does too but fear lingers offering us both bouts of anxiety and stress. Lord I ask that we replace these thoughts with your words: “You are with me, I am your God, I will strengthen and help you. I KNOW these things and I want this to remain our shield.

  5. This was timely. Today my youngest child leaves the nest. We drive 5 hours for her to finally reunite w her Marine husband (they were married 2 months ago but had to wait for housing). Dad is driving the uhaul and I’ll ride w her. I’m a mess. Lol. There’s no way to prepare for this. Empty nest. But God has always been faithful and fills my heart and soul. He’ll take care of my baby. He always has. She was a gift from Him to me, after all.

  6. This message really spoke to me today. 😊
    Dear Lord, thank you for always being with me. Please help me to remember that You are always here. Lord, I’m often fearful of what could happen in my life, or my family’s life, but I know that I should not because you are with me and you will give me the strength I need. Help me to have the faith I need so that fear, dismay, discouragement, things of the devil, will not get me down. Teach me to replace them with hope and joy! In Jesus name, Amen

  7. Over 25 years ago , as I awaited hand surgery, I prayed this verse, over and over. Yesterday I had an accident and as I sat that hospital emergency room, the same verse was playing over and over in my mind. That same God then and now gave me comfort and peace-that I will share….

  8. A friend’s words and prompting have led me to recognize the truth that I have been fearful. Grieving a twenty-two year marriage (I am separated and escaped abuse)…I face an uncertain future and am facing it alone. But, I am NOT facing it alone! My Father is walking alongside me every step of the way. How or why I could forget that, I don’t know. Father God, thank You for never forgetting me, even when I forget You. Thank You for providing the courage and strength to carry on, even when I am completely terrified. I have no need to feel that way and I know You will see me through this season of weakness and insecurity. Thank You, Abba! Amen.

  9. FATHER HELP ME TO CONTINUE TO SEE THE PATH YOU PUT ME ON ALLOW ME TO RECOGNIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE ME ON THIS PATH. RENEW MY FAITH THAT THIS IS THE PATH THE ROAD YOU WANT ME ON BECAUSE IT IS DARK THE SUCCESS SEEMS NOWHERE NEAR WHAT IT SHOULD BE IT HAS BECOME HARDER AND HARDER LEAVING ME TO BELIEVE THAT I AM NOT ON YOUR CHOSEN PATH FOR MY LIFE.

  10. Thank you for highlighting this scripture in Isaiah today and your encouragement as always Gwen….Dear Heavenly Father thank you that you say not to fear and not to be dismayed. I will choose to trust and depend on you that despite the trials, you are with me, you are my God, Thank you that you strengthen and help me, and that you uphold me with your righteous right hand. What a comfort that it is your righteousness we long for and not our own. Give us Love that’s true oh Lord, your perfect Love casts out all our fear, dear Lord I open up my whole heart to you as much as I am able in my imperfect way, thank you for your loving kindness toward me, I am so in need of you in every area of my life. I pray in Jesus’ Name and by the power of your Spirit, Amen

  11. Even with my current health setback of being diagnosed with congestive heart failure (cardiomyopathy) with a heart function of 20% 6 months ago, life continues to happen with and around me. I can choose to jump right in the midst to fix/control or hang out on the sidelines and wait for the situation to resolve itself and/or allow others and God to be in control. In this season of my life, I need to allow God/others to be the “feet” and I can be the “counsel” of needed. I like and have always been one to take action immediately. Time to lean on God and others to do the footwork. Need to consult with God FIRST, listen for his instructions, and then act or be still.

  12. I have been stepping out of my comfort zone,but I am not able to leave the fear behind….we are in debt due to moving, there’s a bid but they need an inspection first…waiting for phone calls, needing so much to sell this house asap….every time I feel I am on the right track, the fear and worry come back, our lives are on hold..thank you for the hope you share, GOD BLESS😢😕😇

  13. Lord:

    I lay down at your feet my impending divorce. Please guide me- strengthen me. Help me to grow my faith stronger and stronger each day. Please fill my empty which only you can do.

    I’m Jesus name
    Amen!

  14. I am really going to have to rely on those words next year. I was hoping to retire after this year, but found out I can’t. I am so discouraged. I’m burnt out at my job and I’m totally over it. But I will not offer God half of an effort. So I am going to have to have His strength, wisdom, help and energy. Asking for prayer, please.

  15. I am dealing with the loss of three friends last year and one of them was my Mom who I worked with for almost 40 years. She had a business we did together. I have had her house on the market which went commercial property since April and not one person through it. I keep praying for strength and wisdom. Thank you Gwen for this passage that God will strengthen me and help me with my discouragement. I know He is with me, but sometimes it gets difficult with the grief and to keep going. I can relate to how Joshua must have felt like after Moses died. Thank you for the blessings today, as just what I needed to read.

  16. We struggle with our ASD teen and new challenges pop up all the time…I find myself getting discouraged and depressed quite often….

  17. I am in a trial that has gone on for a long time as I don’t see my daughter and grandchildren because my son-in-law feels that my husband I are are living in sin because I was divorced before we were married. My ex was unfaithful the entire 7 years we were married. He was abusive and abandoned me and my 2 sons.I have ended I have endured trusting God and wait on God but isn’t time yet I guess. I am praying for continued endurance

  18. Still waiting for a Buyer for my Husband’s small business. Going on 2 years and price dropped several times. Not to be dismayed I will help you! Look up child!!! God bless you for sending this e-mail of encouragement Gwen!

  19. No matter what we face . God is with us through everything. Sometimes we get discouraged. But like this verse it is there to remind us how faithful & loving our father God is. He gives us strength he helps us & holds us up . Praise be to God 🙏❣️ Amen

  20. Dear God, Thank you for giving us the opportunity to come to you when we are afraid and discourage ,thank you for lifting us when we are down,strengthen us when we are weak and leading us on the right path when we go astray ,because without your help we are nothing.
    Thank you for Gwen continue to bless and keep her and the rest of her Team in spirit and truth.

    Blessing
    Paul Reyes

  21. I’m a Pastor’s wife in Los Angeles and from time to time I suffer from anxiety….This message arrived just when I needed it..Thank you so much for your help…Was wondering if I can connect with other women that might be going through similar experience..

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