Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged!
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8 NIV) Those were the reassuring words God spoke to comfort the Israelites at a time of great uncertainty. The Lord was removing Moses not only as their leader but also from their presence and He knew the fear and turmoil they were feeling. That event was a monumental change in their lives, and it was overwhelming for them. They had relied on Moses. They knew and trusted him. But God was giving him much needed eternal rest. God orchestrated that change, and He would use Joshua to see His people through it.
Today, as many of us face life-altering changes, these same Old Testament words spoken to comfort the Israelites who were struggling with change and uncertainty, are the exact words God uses to calm our fears and anxieties. Friends, it is always God’s intention for us to walk in His peace as we walk in His presence through life’s changes.
This verse speaks volumes about God’s heart for us and His determination to help us see Him, as He truly is. Not only does He always go before us illuminating the path we are to travel on, but He also walks with us as we go through all of life’s changes. God is telling us there is no reason to be afraid or discouraged because He’s not going to abandon us. He has everything under control and all that is going to happen will happen under His watchful eye.
Whatever winds of change God allows in our lives; it’s for a reason. Sometimes it is to strengthen or change us or maybe deal with some flaws within us. Regardless of the reason for the time of change or challenge, He promises He will go through them with us and is with us in every circumstance, whether difficult or easy. This verse is a promise of His complete and total willingness to be involved in our lives. God wants us to know Him and His heart! He is a God of love and everything He allows or does is out of His abiding love for us. He has no hidden agenda!
Dear friends, our loving God is with us in every situation! I encourage you to sit alone and repeat this verse out loud, over and over until you feel His peace and presence. Examine every change and situation in your life through this promise, “The Lord himself goes before ME and will be with ME; he will never leave ME nor forsake ME. I will NOT be afraid; I will NOT be discouraged.” Brothers and sisters “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” God goes before you!
Grace and peace always,