Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Be Strong and Courageous

I have to admit, I've been struggling with being in hospital. There is something depressing about being in hospital for a month. When you here phrases such as, 'the physio's have discharged you because you weren't making enough progress', you feel as though they are saying you haven't tried hard enough. Or when they say, 'we may need to sleep you out if someone needs this bed more,' you feel like you're a waste of space and time. I know that's not what they mean, medically they can't do anything for me, but it still knocks you.

But I remembered this verse this evening, "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 1:19.

This was my baptism verse and I've had it memorised for 9 years, but there were two things that struck me when I looked at this verse again.

The first is, "Have I not commanded you?" God doesn't ask us to be strong and courageous, he commands us! But he doesn't command us and then leave us to it, he wants us to lean on him for it.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

We need to hope in the Lord for our strength, not in ourselves. God understands that we are human, that our own strength isn't enough to sustain us but he does expect us to lean on Him. Not only when things get tough but all the time!

The other part of Joshua 1:9 that really struck me was "do not be discouraged". Now I can't count the number of times I've been discouraged over the past 4 weeks! I was discouraged when I couldn't move at all that first week. I was discouraged when my discharged date was moved over and over again and I've been discouraged many times since. But I think there was definitely a reason that this verse came to mind tonight.

I will honestly admit that I haven't relied on God 100% whilst I've been in hospital and that needs to change. The BEST thing I can do is rely on God. I know that there are times that I'll struggle in the future, but I know that in that situation I can be strong and courageous because I can depend on the God who made me, and loves me and will give me the strength to do anything he asks of me. 

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