Be Strong and Courageous

Joshua-1-9

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 1:9

Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:13–14

In 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted to swim the chilly ocean waters between Catalina Island and the California shore. She swam through foggy weather and choppy seas for fifteen hours. Her muscles began to cramp, and her resolve weakened. She begged to be taken out of the water, but her mother, riding in a boat alongside, urged her not to give up. She kept trying but grew exhausted and stopped swimming. Aides lifted her out of the water and into the boat. They paddled a few more minutes, the mist broke, and she discovered that the shore was less than a half mile away.

“All I could see was the fog,” she explained at a news conference. “I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Take a long look at the shore that awaits you. Don’t be fooled by the fog of the slump. The finish may be only strokes away. God may be, at this moment, lifting his hand to signal Gabriel to grab the trumpet. Angels may be assembling, saints gathering, demons trembling. Stay at it! Stay in the water. Stay in the race. Stay in the fight.

Give grace, one more time. Be generous, one more time. Teach one more class, encourage one more soul, swim one more stroke.

—Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants

Father, you created us and you know everything there is to know about us. You know how discouraged we get at times and how we want to give up the struggles we face. Sometimes it seems as if we have more struggles than strength. We are tempted to quit. When that happens, Lord, remind us to endure for one more day, to be patient one more time, to serve without reward for one more season, amen.

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. — Isaiah 46:4

He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. — Proverbs 30:5

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Questions for today: Are you tired, discouraged, and want to quit? Do you feel like you just can’t make it all the way? Meditate on Joshua 1:9. How has God given you courage when you have needed it to “stay in the fight”? Please feel free to write a response in your personal journal or share your thoughts in the comments section below. ~ Devotionals Daily

Max Lucado

Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 130 million books in print. Follow his website at MaxLucado.com Facebook.com/MaxLucado Instagram.com/MaxLucado Twitter.com/MaxLucado

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