Strength and Courage.

It Is Your Decision.

Image by: Henry Rihard Pasaribu from WIN — NL

Strength and Courage.

One of our pastors had a sermon that was called “God’s Faithfulness”. It was a nice sermon and I would like to share my thoughts on it.

This is the bible verse for this sermon;

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:7–9 (NIV)

The last bold part is nice. But it is very difficult to follow or do. It is telling me/us that when we do the right thing, the Lord is there with us. But we need to be courageous and have faith and trust.

For me, this is difficult. To be very honest, I am a bit of a shy person. I am also a bit insecure. But if I follow this last bold part, I should not be insecure. The Lord our God will be with you wherever you go.

Challenges.

It was also very nicely explained.

We all face challenges in our lives. This is normal. But it is up to us, how we handle these challenges. It is up to us to decide how we handle these challenges.

We are the ones that need to take the step forward. The Lord will then help or support us to face the challenge. As long as we don’t take the step forward, the Lord will not do anything. We are the ones that need to show that we are strong, courageous, and willing.

An example was made with a strong wind. When a strong wind is coming from the front, you need to brace yourself. And you need to put in the force in stepping forward. If you don’t brace yourself, the wind will blow you back.
So you need to make the decision to go forward or you will be blown back.

The same is for the challenges we face. We are the ones that will decide how we face these challenges. Do we let them control our lives or do we take (some) control over them?

I already had faced so many different challenges in life. You could read more about it in the following posts;

And every day I am still facing more challenges.

Example 1.

This is one example. In posts on my website (Disappointment and Being tested?) I wrote about my kidney stone removal operation. Or the fact that it was not successful.

Of course, at first, you are disappointed that it had failed, but they told me that they will try it again.

Now, I could sit and complain about it or be sad about it. But what does this help us/me? Nothing. So I just (tried to) accepted it.

In the hospital, I was told, that the follow-up could be taking place after maybe two weeks. So, two weeks later I checked with the hospital if they already knew something. But this was not the case. A special instrument was ordered and they are waiting for it. As soon as it is in, they would make a new appointment for me. This then would be around two weeks before the scheduled appointment when they would notify me.

Again, I could sit down and be sad about it. To be honest, that was my initial reaction. The fact of me running to the toilet after walking a bit made me already tired. That’s why I mention in the post “Being tested” that it felt like a test to me. How would I face this and how would I handle this.

In the end, I got the letter from the hospital that the newly scheduled appointment would be for August 31, 2020. When I received the letter, it was July 30, 2020. Can you imagine, one more month of this discomfort? I am sure I am being tested to my limit.

Or is this really my limit? If I look at what I already have been through with regards to my health, then this is small.

Example 2.

Let’s take my blog/website. At first, I was writing for myself and kept things private. Just as a way of handling the health situations in my life.

Later on, I also was thinking of writing down my thoughts about some bible verses. It was also one way for me, to get things out of my head and get some quietness in my head.

After a bible study, I was talking to one of the group members and told him what I was doing. He told me that it would be a nice idea to share my life with others. And maybe in some way, I could touch the lives of others with my thoughts and experiences.

After some thinking things over, I finally made the step. I made my blog/website public and shared it with the world.

This example is maybe not a challenge. But it shows that it sometimes can be the people around us or the people that the Lord brings into our lives, that can help us or give us the notch that we need. It was still me who had to decide to take the next step or not.

And now, instead of keeping it all to myself and facing all the challenges myself, I can share this with others. And so also help myself.

Example 3.

Joining Medium. In the past, I had read several things about Medium. For quite some time, I was in a doubt. Should I join or not. Or maybe just read the stories.

For me, it was a bit scary. Joining a group of people that had more writing experience than me. And those publications.

Until I discovered that it was also possible to self-publish your posts.

I would try that first and see how it would go. But still knowing that if I would like to share my stories with more people, I would need to join a publication.

In late December 2021, the publication “New Writers Welcome” came to my attention. And after thinking hard about it, I had join. A bit scary, but again, if you don’t make the first step, nothing will happen.

Another Promise.

In connection with the bible verse Joshua 1:7–9 (See the beginning of this post) two more verses have this promise.

29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29–31 (NIV)

And

13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

It is Your Decision.

At the end of it all, it is still our decision.

As is shown in the image, the strength is in your back. It is preventing you from falling back or going back. The courage is in front and it is pulling you.
You need both to go forward.

But it is up to you if you are strong and courageous. It is up to you if you let them push and pull you. You also can step aside, out of the way, but then you are stagnant.

But don’t forget the promise of the Lord. “for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Without your own decision, without your own strength, without your own courage, you are on your own. But no matter what we decide, the Lord will always be with us.

Closing.

As a closing.

It is difficult to say something more, than what I already wrote. Just remind yourself about the mentioned bible verses. It is up to you what decision you make. No matter what, the Lord will always be with you.

It can be scary to make a decision. But as long as we don’t make a decision, we stay stagnant. The first step is always the most difficult one. But with strength and courage, we CAN move forward.

A special thanks to Bro. Henry Rihard for allowing me to use his image for this post.

I hope you all stay safe and take care.
God Bless.

If you would like to read more from me, then check out my profile or my blog (where this post also can be found).

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Pierre de Man

Pierre de Man

395 Followers

Husband, Father, Heart Patient, Christian, Blogger on pierredeman.nl Through writing I can process what is going on in my life and get it out of my system.