Finding peace in the middle of a storm is not an easy proposition. When a trial rages beyond your control, you may be tempted to assume the worst and withdraw. Colossians 3:15-17 paraphrased tells those who believe in God to “let the peace of Christ rule in you hearts…be thankful…sing to God with gratitude in your hearts…give thanks to God.”
Maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving while one battles an unseen enemy seems counter-intuitive. However, being thankful to God means we haven’t given up hope. We can be vigilant while at the same time being kind and encouraging to others. This approach means we believe there’s a future beyond the present situation, even though the road ahead remains obscured. Fight fear with thanksgiving! What do you have to be thankful for?
We are indeed social creatures. It’s no surprise social distancing goes against our nature. We need not be alone however in this endeavor. While we are apart from social circles choose to spend time watching, listening or reading things that inspire–things that give the human spirit a chance to soar and not sour.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Last week I outlined my strategy for getting up off my comfy chair and back into the game. I am happy to report no progress was made. You may be inclined to think happy and no progress are conflicting ideas but that’s not the case. Let me explain.
First, and foremost, I am happy to be on the other side of a bad case of the flu. It was a week long affair. Second, I lost 5 pounds in the process. Aside from a nagging cough and some post-nasal drip I am almost fully recovered.
As the weather continues to warm into the 40s I look forward to spring with enthusiasm.
The opening chapter of Joshua is filled with encouragement. It comes on the heels of the Israelites’ most grievous and devastating loss – the death of Moses. They were on a roll, under Moses’ command they had already defeated the kings on the east side of the river. They were ready to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. All their momentum evaporated like dust in the wind. For thirty days their grief was evident.
After a period of mourning, it was time to pick up the pieces and finish the journey. Joshua, tasked with leading millions of Israelites across the Jordan River, receives much needed encouragement from God.
Be strong and courageous… Joshua 1:6
Have you ever been tasked with doing something that looked impossible to accomplish? Have you ever suffered a devastating loss? Maybe you find yourself in desperate situation? God says, be strong and courageous! But why should you? How is it even possible?
God wants Joshua and his people to courageously follow his teachings. Joshua can be strong and courageous because the Lord:
Will not leave him or forsake him (v5)
Will be with him wherever he goes (v9)
Will give him rest from his arduous journey (v13)
Be strong and courageous! Follow in Joshua’s footsteps and see what God will do for you.