2 Chronicles 32:6-8, 20-21
He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said. King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king.
Written by: Larry Van Laar
Be strong and courageous? Seriously?!
Have you ever opened up your Bible and read a passage about something incredible, miraculous, or just completely unbelievable? Often when we read these kinds of passages with extraordinary characters, we move on and simply assign them in our minds as, “Well, these are Bible people. These kinds of extraordinary events happened all the time.” We often forget these were real human beings with the same fears and insecurities we wrestle with today.
Maybe this is why there are more than 400 verses in scripture that exhort us to be strong, courageous, and unafraid. Just like us, characters in scripture would often forget they serve an all-powerful God; a God that cares and loves them. They constantly had to be reminded. In the passage above, we read that the nation of Assyria was laid siege to Juda and was about to invade Jerusalem. The Jewish people were terrified, and for good reason. Assyria was known to be the most ruthless, savage, and terrifying nation the world had ever seen. Their evil reputation was well deserved. Yet in the midst of this, we see King Hezekiah do two things: 1) put a battle plan together, and 2) encourage his men to be strong and courageous because their God would deliver them—and God did.
Thought of the day: Are you living today with fear and concern for the future? If so, remember that you that you serve a great and powerful God. He is the alpha and omega, and the beginning and the end. Apart from Him, there is no God. Everything under Heaven belongs to Him. He has searched you and knows you. He is pleased with you and knows you by name. He takes great delight in you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will watch over you wherever you go. Therefore, be strong and courageous, for nothing is impossible with God. Make your battle plan and walk with the Lord through it all.
Prayer: God, lead me through the waters of uncertainty. Help me to face the fears that well up from within me. Give me courage. Give me wisdom and guide my feet as I move forward. Amen.