Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid
or terrified because of them, for the LORD
your God goes with you; he will never leave
you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Moses completed the challenge to the Israelites to choose—life and prosperity or death and destruction. He then proceeded to tell them which to choose: “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…for the LORD is your life…” (Deut 30:19)
Next he addressed the gathering of Israelites to pass his leadership position to Joshua. I’m old, tired, worn out and used up and, by the way, the LORD told me that I will not cross the Jordan. But do not worry, God himself will cross over ahead of you, destroy the nations in your way, and send Joshua before you.
Then Moses added His encouragement to be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified because the LORD your God goes with you. He will not leave you. He will not forsake you.
Today is the first day of a new year, and after all these centuries we too face the same challenge as the Israelites: life and prosperity or death and destruction. Do not be deceived. It is a life or death decision. I encourage you to choose life—for the LORD is your life.
This year you may, like the Israelites, wander in the desert. You may fear tomorrow and what it might bring. You may, like Job, face loss beyond your imagination. You may, like Daniel, be thrown into a den of lions for your steadfast unwavering obedience as you follow God. You may be ostracized by friends and family or face a dreaded disease. Or, this may be the best year of your life. This may be the year the LORD pours out His blessing so that you are unable to contain them. This may be the year of renewed relationships and forgiveness for past offenses.
The good news is that it does not matter what this year may hold for you and me because our God, the LORD, goes with us. So rather than walk in fear of the bad things that may happen, choose instead to live each day of 2014 expecting great things from God. Expect God to work in your life. Watch as He shows up at the least expected moment in the most unexpected way. See Him provide for your needs. Hear Him as He whispers your name and calls you into life-changing and exciting places. Expect good things from God!
Be strong and courageous and fear not for the LORD goes with you!
© Joyce Powell