“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.”

Joshua 1:9

I remember when I was a young person in the youth group, we had a gathering at a friends house. This was around the time when the cinnamon challenge was really popular. The cinnamon challenge was basically a dare to eat a spoonful of just cinnamon. It was absolutely disgusting and actually unsafe. 

But we were teens and wanted a good laugh.

The first young guy took a spoonful and instantly spit it out in one big puff of cinnamon. The next guy put the spoon in his mouth and then proceeded to lose his stomach contents all over the driveway. I was too afraid to do the challenge myself and I’m thankful for that fear to this day! 

There is fear that is healthy, and it is to protect you from danger. Then there is fear that the enemy uses to keep you from God and His promises. 

I struggle with being brave. My first instinct is to cower until the threat has passed and then crawl out to see the damage that has been done. But God has commanded us in this scripture to be strong and courageous.

We can face whatever life throws our way, because He is always with us! We don’t have to be discouraged, for He is always walking with us, no matter the season or circumstance. 

Face your day today with confidence that you can be brave because God is always with you. 

Jesus, I’m thankful that I can be brave through You. You make me strong and I know that You are always fighting for me. 

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

I tend to be a daydreamer at times, often find myself letting my thoughts wander in different directions. Recently I was thinking about my life and felt like I stood at the top of a mountain, looking back at the journey I had taken. It was a winding path, leading through valleys and hills. There were slippery places, times of darkness, some steep cliffs and some shadowy valleys. I thought of the many “hats” I had worn through the years, as I endeavoured to follow God’s plan for my life. I thought of the times when it seemed there must have been an easier way to go. I also realized that the memories of the good times far outweighed the hard times.

Through the whole journey, the Lord had been with me. His hand was leading, protecting, and supporting me every step of the way. He was there in the times of sorrow and in the times of rejoicing. There was not a need that He had not met.

I realized that I was not at the end of the journey, that there were more hills to climb, but I am sure of this one thing: The Lord who has been with me this far, will never leave me nor forsake me. He does not allow me to see what lies ahead, but I can safely trust the rest of my journey completely to Him, for He know what is best for me.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your guidance and direction thus far and for the confidence that we have for the future. Lead us day by day in the way you would have us go.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

He (Elkanah) had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.1 Samuel 1:2

Hannah was set apart, but not in a way anyone would desire.

 Being barren during this era was a disgrace upon women and considered a divine judgment from God. Her society viewed her as an unfit wife and misunderstood her predicament as God’s disapproval rather than seeing the panoramic view of God’s master plan.

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:10-11

There may be an impossible situation that you are facing right now and you have been weeping bitterly before God. You’re heart may feel like it’s in a million pieces and it seems impossible to ever feel whole again.

But, God Is Able

  • But I know a God who can pick up the pieces of a broken marriage and put it back together again.
  • I know a God who can bring deliverance to a person overcome with shame and secret sin.
  • Depression is real, but it is not the will of God for you to be depressed. I know a God who will give beauty for ashes – the oil of joy for mourning – the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
  • We serve a God who can restore family relationships back together again, who still saves, heals, provides, and performs miracles.

Sometimes God sends barrenness your way to cause you to depend on Him.

If you read the rest of the story, God granted Hannah her request, He gave her a son. However, her years of hardship were not over, but through it all, she knew that God performs miracles and answers prayers. If He did it once, He’ll do it again. And, God will do it for you!

Prayer: Lord, I desire you to be my confidence and my help. When I am faced with an impossible situation remind me that with You, all things are possible. When I am weak, You will be my strength. I love you!