I once heard a sermon that definitely impacted my thinking. I'm not repeating that sermon in it's entirety but I'm going to tell you how it is continuing to influence my life.
If you read my last post, you know that the Lord has been wanting to work on some issues in my own life but I am afraid that digging through my heart to deal with those issues is going to be unbearably painful. Afraid might not do my feelings justice, let's go with terrified. What if the pain completely lays me out for a bit? I mean, after all, I am a mommy and everyone knows that mommys don't get sick/I'm over it/PTO days. I can't afford to heal, it might hurt to much to begin with. Well, being afraid of it is not an option.
I have many times over the last week gone back to Phil 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."God will carry on His work in my life and not leave it mid-process. The text says "being confident of this", that means that I can have full trust that this is truth. He won't leave me.
Now to the book of Joshua (and part of the sermon). Did you know in the first chapter of the book of Joshua, 4 times the words be strong and courageous are mentioned? And did you know in vs 9 it is actually a COMMANDMENT? " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Wow. Have I not commanded you. Pretty strong words there. I can't help but realize that if the Lord thought it was important enough to mention 4 times in just 18 short verses, that it must be important knowledge to have. And then lets magnify it just a bit, you know, in case you missed any of those 4 times, and command it.
God has actually commanded me to be strong and courageous. He has commanded me to not be terrified. And in return He has promised that He will be with me wherever I go. This evening I looked past my fear and did what God has been asking of me. I started looking at the issues He wants to heal. I still know it won't be easy. I still know that it will hurt, but I also know that He will continue on the work He has started until the day of completion and that He will go with me wherever this journey takes me. He is faithful. He is good.
(on a side note, I was just thinking about that sermon and oddly enough, it was delivered by the man who is now my pastors brother-in-law. Interesting tidbits that don't really add to the story but made me smile.)