How Can I Be Strong and Courageous?
Joshua was about to lead the children of Israel into war! No war is won with cowards who want to sit down in discouragement and be captured or retreat in defeat!
What would bring Joshua victory is the same thing that brings you victory over discouragement:
“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 success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Have you ever heard about “Tokyo Rose”? If you can find someone who fought in the Pacific during World War II, they’ll tell you who she was.
Tokyo Rose, with her lovely soft voice, never fired a gun, but nonetheless she was a weapon of the enemy for bringing down American soldiers. Her ways were so subtle, so seductive that it was hard not to listen to her voice. Playing music from “home,” Tokyo Rose would talk of America, of home, and of the war. Softly she’d try to cause the soldiers to question who their girlfriends or their wives were spending time with while they were there in the Pacific fighting a foolish war that they could never win. On and on she would go, night after night. And some GIs listened.
They were lonely and longed to hear anything about home, anything that sounded like a woman. At first they’d listen, knowing that this was the enemy’s propaganda, but soon some would forget who Tokyo Rose really was and why she was on the air. Her lies began to sound like truth. Her lies were packaged so nicely, so sensibly, and some of our soldiers forgot what was true.
The enemy wants to knock your sword out of your hand. Your sword is the Word of God, the word of Truth that brings down the enemy. If he can do that, then you are defenseless.
This is spiritual warfare. The enemy wants you to buy into his lies, his propaganda! I am sure you have experienced it. When you find yourself disappointed, when you find yourself discouraged, on the road to depression and dejection, there is a temptation to stay away from the Word. Or sometimes when you begin to read the Word, it will seem like someone’s cut into your line; you can hear talking in your head. The devil’s tactic is to jam your communication with God or to cut the line. He wants you to listen to his lies and buy them as truth. Remember, communication is one of the key principles of warfare.
There must be communication. And God’s communication to you, valiant soldier, is through the Word of God. Listening and answering is staying on your “walkie-talkie.” One of the very best books of the Bible for combating the Five Deadly D’s is the book of Psalms. It’s a great prayer book for these times. You’ll see the psalmist talking to God about everything—and then finding the answers in what he knows about God.
Read through [esvignore]Joshua 1[/esvignore] in your Bible. Record everything you learn about the book of the Law and God’s instructions to Joshua respecting it.
Meditation is similar to a cow chewing its cud. A cow has several stomachs, so she’ll chew something for a while, swallow it, regurgitate it, chew it some more, and then send it into the next stomach where it stays for a while. Then as she muses upon it, she’ll bring it up, chew, and send it to the next stomach.
You need to meditate on the Word of God in the same way! It will keep you from discouragement, for it will keep before you the promises of God, which are yea and amen. By these promises you “become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
As Joshua 1:8 says, “Then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” You’ll win the battle against discouragement.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
You can study the book of Psalms inductively. As you experience the psalmists’ beautiful, heartfelt expressions in prayer, in confession, in grief, and in praise–of their love for and devotion to God your personal prayer times will grow more profound and your worship experiences more fulfilling.
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.