Strength and Courage.

Strength and Courage
Image by: Henry Rihard Pasaribu from WIN – NL

Strength and Courage.

On July 7, 2020, one of our pastors had a sermon that was called “God’s Faithfulness”.
It was a nice sermon and I would like to share this with you and also share my thoughts on it.
(I will share the Youtube link at the end of this post.)

This is the bible verse for this sermon;
Joshua 1:7-9 (NIV)
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.

The last underlined 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 underlined part, I should not be insecure.
The Lord our God will be with you wherever you go.

Challenges.

It was also very nice 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 and courageous.

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 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 once that will decide how we face these challenges.
Do we let them control our lives or do we take (some) control over them?

As you maybe know, I already had faced so many different challenges in life.
And every day I am still facing more challenges.

Example 1.

This is a current example.
In my previous posts (Disappointment and Being tested?) I told 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.

Then two weeks later I checked again 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 will 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.

At the end, a few days ago, I got the letter from the hospital that the new 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 this blog.
This 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 deep thoughts and thinking things over, I finally made the step.
I created this blog/website.

This example is maybe not really 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 make the decision to take the next step or not.

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

Example 3.

This one is still a work in progress.

For this blog, I am reading a lot.
The more you read, the more you understand and maybe subconscious you also will learn how to write better yourself.
You learn from reading other stories, blogs.

While going through an interesting article, they also started to write about something that has a small connection with blogging.
It sounded interesting and I started to read more about it.
I was thinking of maybe doing this also.
As an addition to this blog.

It would be more work but I thought it would be nice.

First I was gathering more information and details on how to start and how to proceed.
But in the back of my mind, I was not a hundred percent sure of it.
So I decided to talk to others about this and just see what they thought of it.

Everyone that I told about it, they all said that it was a nice idea.
They even came with some ideas to expand it further.
But for me it is, one step at the time.
First see how this goes, and then maybe expand.

It is something new to me, so I also have to learn new technic and experiment a little with it.
Again, it was me who had to make the decision to take the next step.
And I also prayed and asked for help and guidance with it.

I am not gone tell yet what it is because I first want to have a good base to start from.
But I hope to tell you or show you more soon.

While I was busy with this, this sermon had come to me again.
Maybe as a reminder.

Another promise.

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

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
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.

And
Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
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.

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, then 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.
But with strength and courage, we CAN move forward.

The video of the service can be found HERE
A small remark, the volume of the video is low.
If you would like to go straight to the sermon, this starts at 49min.

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

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Hope you all stay safe and take care.
God Bless.

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2 thoughts on “Strength and Courage.

  1. Thanks for sharing these things, Pierre.
    I had to read them with one eye. As I had already surgery on my right eye, now there is a temporary problem with the coordination of my eyes. With my old glasses I have to close my right eye when I’m reading. Using a new set of reading glasses I have to close my left eye while reading, Even typing this comment I have to do with one eye closed. It6’s good to know this is temporary, but still, for the moment, it is annoying, especially as I like to read a lot.
    God bless you as you go through your waiting time!

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