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In my quiet time this week, I read this verse in Joshua 1. "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 Here's the context. Moses, the man whom God had used to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and to the entrance of the promised land, has passed away. His assistant, Joshua, has now been called by God to lead the Israelites forward and into the Promised Land. It was a huge leadership task and Joshua was feeling the weight of it I am sure. Do you ever feel the weight of leading a ministry? You wonder if you'll make it through another year, month or even week. I know I do at times. When you feel this way, you can grab hold of the same promise God gave Joshua. He says to be strong and courageous. He promises us that He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He will go with us and bring us into the right path. But for this to happen, we have to take a step of courage. We have to be willing to trust Him and venture with Him into unknown territory. Courage. Do you have it? Courage is stepping out in faith even when your knees are knocking. Courage is making the hard choices even when it doesn't make sense. Courage is going toward new horizons even when you've lost sight of your comfortable shore. Courage is launching out into the deep when it's safer in shallow waters. Courage is not the absence of fear. Rather it is moving ahead in spite of your fear. J.R.R. Tolkien , one of my favorite writers said, “it is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.” Another great example of courage is the story of David and Goliath. While everyone cowered in the shadows, David had the courage to step up and challenge Goliath. The language he uses as he faces Goliath reveals that He was trusting God for the victory. Look what he says. His words reflect His desperate dependence upon God. "David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head'." David trusted God. If he would step out in faith, God would give him a victory and outcome that no one besides David would believe until it actually became reality. I'm not sure what you are facing today? Perhaps it's a lack of volunteers. Maybe it's being weary in well doing. Or is it being discouraged because the ministry is not growing. Maybe it's the feeling you are in way over your head in a new position. Perhaps it's financial pressure. You are barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck. Today, I want to leave you this one word. Courage. Ask God for it. Trust in His promises. Ask Him to increase your faith so you can do the crazy but courageous thing God is asking you to do. Take a step forward, even if it's a baby step. And then watch as God steps in to strengthen you and give you the courage you need to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

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