Be Strong…Do Not Be Frightened and…Do Everything In love…But How?!
Joshua 1:9 (ESV) 9 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.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) 13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
It is sometimes hard, isn’t it? Being courageous, standing firm in our faith and yes…doing everything in love. Home is sometimes the place we fail the most and then…go out and put on a good show for others.
Even when we do things with a seemingly loving attitude, we can be struggling inside to feel truly loving, or strong or courageous.
It reminds me of the story of the little boy who had been told to sit down, but really wanted to keep playing around. He slowly and reluctantly sat down and then said to his mom, “I’m sitting down on the outside but I am standing up on the inside!” Time for an attitude adjustment…a heart change!
God is the giver of good gifts. Loving or courageous actions sometimes take pure discipline…the type of determination where you are pushing yourself forward and maybe quietly gritting your teeth, complaining under your breath about the reasons this is hard or how much credit you deserve for just being nice!
But who gave us the desire to love well in the first place? The desire alone is a gift.
Being strong and courageous, not being dismayed or frightened…we cannot do that on our own, either. The desire and the ability are a gift…from Him.
Not enough desire or strength to do what you know you need to do? Prayer… is a gift. Pray…ask…receive. We don’t often receive immediately, of course.
He tells us to persevere. We don’t always have it in us to persevere. So…since He wouldn’t tell us to do something He wouldn’t equip us to do…pray. Seek strength through His word. Then…do what you might have already known that you were supposed to do in the first place but now…with His strength in and through you.
Since prayer, His word and the Holy Spirit in us will cause us to become more aware that it all comes from Him, surely we can be more patient, even expectant, as we carry through on what we know is right and then…watch as His love, endurance and courage become more a part of who we really are!
Romans 5:3-5 (AMP) 3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. 4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. 5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.