Our new word for the week is: COURAGE. Thanks to everyone for sharing your words with me.
When we look at our circumstances, our own ability, or let our emotions run wild and focus on our insecurities, we can feel anything but courageous. Timid may be the word we’re more inclined to use to describe ourselves. But when we know that someone stronger is on our side or has our back, we’re likely to feel bolder and more courageous. Well, I have good news and a great reason for us to feel brave: the God of the universe who created you and me, never leaves or forsakes us. He is our defender—He goes before us and is our rear guard. When He stands up, our enemies scatter. The Lord equips and strengthens us with His Holy Spirit who seals us and dwells inside. Scripture assures us that the same mighty power God exhibited when He raised Jesus from the dead is at work in His children. Our Heavenly Father gives us every reason to feel courageous. If we start to wobble His mighty hand will uphold us.
David is one of the most courageous people in the Bible. One of my favorite stories is when David took down the Philistine giant with a sling and stone. Goliath had been taunting, tormenting, threatening, and challenging the Israelites to a fight. David was usually tending to the sheep, but he took a break to bring food to his older brothers and check out the situation. Until David’s arrival, no one had been brave enough to accept Goliath’s challenge—not King Saul or any of his soldiers. So, there was a standoff in the valley. David was the youngest of his brothers, but that didn’t matter. He saw what was going on and immediately volunteered to take on the giant. He tried on the king’s armor but couldn’t move freely. He took it off and gathered five stones from the riverbed. He was not afraid but filled with courage, knowing he was covered in the armor of God. He knew that the Lord God Almighty was with him and would give him victory.
Read his story below to see what happened:
1 Samuel 17:45, 47-50, “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…., “all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.” When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.”
I have been to this valley—the Valley of Elah in Israel—and have walked in this now-dry riverbed. I gathered five stones of my own and prayed while holding them in my hand. I prayed to be brave and courageous against the giants that occasionally arise in my life. Giants can be people, situations, and even our own emotions. God is with us, and He is bigger than anything we face. Like David, He gives us victory too.
Enjoy this short excerpt from my book “Confidence and Crowns: Devotions for a Daughter of the King.”
You are Strong
Your strength comes from holding tight to the Lord, so cling to Him with all your might. God promises to never let you down. Be on your guard against the enemy though; he will try to lie to you and say you’re all alone. If you let him, he will feed your insecurities and play upon your fears: the fear that you’re unloved, unwanted, or undesirable; the fear of rejection and abandonment; of not being capable; and most of all he wants you to give in to the fear and believe the lie that you are anything but strong. He knows that if he can weaken your confidence and paralyze you with all these fears, you’ll no longer be a threat to him. Don’t let that wily devil win, don’t believe his lies, or give in to your fears. Know without a doubt that whatever struggle you’re facing, you’re not facing it alone. When you find yourself in circumstances beyond your control, when you’re being pushed to your limit, or find yourself face-to-face with the unknown, remember that you are the King’s daughter or son. It’s your relationship with Him that supplies all the strength you need.
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.”
Psalm 63:8, “I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me.”
Ephesians 1:18-20, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
How do the promises of God help strengthen you to overcome your fears? Do you feel courage welling up within you?
This is the Valley of Elah where David overcame the giant Goliath. These are the rocks that I gathered from the riverbed.