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.
At St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School our 6th grade teacher, Miss Nettles, was studying to receive her doctorate in English. Suffice it to say, she made certain we knew many tedious details of the English language. One thing I remember excelling at was diagramming sentences. It was so much fun to be called to the chalkboard to diagram a really long sentence and get it absolutely right! Teacher’s pet? Absolutely!
When you diagram a sentence, you begin with the subject and the verb. Then you add all the other parts of speech – adjectives, prepositions, adverbs, and participles.
In the diagram below we begin with ‘God will be,” As my friend Rillia says, “That will preach!”
The Blue Letter Bible website shows that the verb strong in Hebrew is chazaq and courage is ‘amats. They are simple imperatives which means the words are commands. The verb afraid in Hebrew is ‘arats and is a simple imperfect, meaning it is an action or condition that is not complete.
In the phrase “God will be with you wherever you go,” the Hebrew word for go is yalak and it is also a simple imperfect verb.
Interesting. I’m no Bible scholar, but what this means to me is that God says fear is a condition that doesn’t go away. AND, in the same way, His being with us will continue and never come to completion. AND, He commands us to be strong and courageous. He commands us to not be afraid.
He never says operate in spite of your fear. God says do not be afraid.
For as long as I can remember, fear has been a constant companion. Age has made it much easier to face certain ones of them, but it seems there is always something that causes me to fear. Whether it’s an old fear resurfacing with a vengeance or a new fear cropping up from out of nowhere, they seem to always be present.
There’s also the issue of my need to avoid conflict at all cost. That is perhaps my greatest fear – having to engage in a tough conversation with someone, anyone. I hate being yelled at or feeling as though I’ve disappointed someone. But that fear is not from God. His gift is power. And love. And self-discipline.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Because of the self-discipline God has given us, we can choose not to be afraid.
We get to decide; not our circumstances.God has given us strength, courage and self-discipline. The trick is we have to use what we’ve been given.
It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear but, rather, the judgement that something else is more important than fear. Let’s choose to make God’s gift of courage more important than fear today.
Because God will be with us wherever we go, we have the power to be courageous!
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Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
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