Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
At the end of a busy day, I got to my car after exiting a commuter bus and found out one of my tires was flat. I didn’t have my cell phone with me and wondered what I would do.
Very quickly, God brought to mind a specific nearby gas station. I had heard commercials about it on my local Christian radio station. Slowly, I drove my car to that gas station and made it before anything else happened to the tire.
I had a spare tire in my trunk but sadly I’d never learned how to put one on. (P.S. I recommend that everyone learn this basic skill.) Anyway, I went inside the gas station office. The lady at the desk told me the mechanics were off duty. However, she walked out with me and we thought that maybe together we could figure this out.
Then another problem came up. I didn’t have a jack in my trunk. Just then, a friend of hers pulled up and she went over to ask him if he had one. He didn’t. But his friend was nearby so he called him. That friend came almost immediately and between the two of them they had my spare tire on in no time.
Every time it seemed like it might not be possible for me to fix my car and get home, God brought in another person to help. He was one step in front of me all along.
When bad circumstances come into your life, and they will, remember that God has foreseen those troubles and has already prepared an answer.
Trials and troubles are my cue to draw closer to God. I can pray to Him any time. Bad circumstances let me remember I need God each day. I can simply look up and say, “Help me, Lord.” I can also add, “Bring me the right answer at the right time. Fill me with your peace as you show me your way.” Sometimes I have to wait for the answer but I can rest because I know it will come. Waiting intermixes into the process for the sake of my character and endurance.
God will always be one step ahead of me because He is a sovereign God that was, is, and will be, all at the same time. I don’t have to worry about whether He is a step ahead of me. The fact is He is. But I don’t always feel like it’s true. Sometimes I fear and dread what will happen in a situation or what will happen in the future. Therefore, I need to remind myself God is indeed always one step ahead of me. Then I can see clearly that He is.
1.) Feelings are usually not the truth.
Joshua was scared after Moses died and he was slated to take charge of leading the people into the promised land. We know Joshua was fearful because God had to tell him to be strong and courageous. Joshua was feeling fearful and doubtful, yet God told him to take courage. Just like Joshua, I need to remember that my feelings are not necessarily the truth.
2.) God is with me wherever I go.
Joshua said to the Israelites, “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: The Lord your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.” God gave a pep talk to Joshua that ended with the fact that He would not fail Joshua. He would be with Joshua. The same promise is mine because Jesus said to come to Him and He will give me rest. I can rest because God is with me wherever I go.
3.) Remember where to go to find truth.
If it’s important to put the truth on top of your feelings, then you also have to know where to find truth. Joshua also said, “Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them…Study the Book of instruction continually. Mediate on it day and night so you can obey everything written in it.” The book of instruction is the Bible which is more than instruction—it’s a love letter from God on how to live. So, remember where to go to find truth.
Thank the God who continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. He does this in order to use us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere—like a sweet aroma (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Now, go forth and take courage!
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9