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Facing Fear
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The news on Wall Street these days is not very encouraging. I doubt financial investors are sleeping well, and neither are many average citizens. Uncertainty and confusion are common companions.

As I ponder the currently bleak economic outlook, I’m reminded of Joshua in the Old Testament. I love the book of Joshua because it is so encouraging. Over and over God says to this young man, “Be strong! Be courageous! Don’t be discouraged or afraid.”

Joshua had plenty of reasons to be both discouraged and afraid. He was responsible for dealing with the concerns of approximately one million people who were prone to compulsive, reactive, complaining behaviors. As a group, they did not have the greatest track record! Yet Joshua had been commissioned to lead this undisciplined mass of humanity into a land of giants and walled cities to conquer it and take possession.

Why shouldn’t Joshua be afraid? Verses 5 and 9 of Joshua chapter 1 give the answer very clearly: God was with him. God promised never to leave Joshua or forsake him.

Cleared the Path

Yes, there were huge challenges. Obstacles abounded. Seeming impossibilities loomed. But the promise “The Lord your God will be with you” took precedence. It cleared the path. It subdued Joshua’s fear and buoyed up his courage.

Life in today’s society has created massive loads of fear. People fear they will lose their health, their families, their homes and their money. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure plague large numbers of people, essentially immobilizing them.

On the other hand, courage is not necessarily the total absence of fear. Sometimes courage is simply fear in action. It is facing your fears and naming them. It is choosing to believe that the Power beside you is greater than the problem in front of you.

Is courage still available in a world which seems to be spiraling out of control? For those who choose to believe God is with them always no matter what happens, it is.

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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