Seasons. With each new season comes new opportunities, new tasks and new challenges. The change of seasons can be exciting; filled with anticipation and hope for what’s to come. But the change of seasons can also bring feelings of anxiety as we await the unknown of what’s ahead. As one year winds down a new year waits in the shadows, what is your hope for 2019?
If you’re a baseball fan, you might have heard this famous quote from legend Babe Ruth: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
This is a great lesson to learn in the world of sports. You’ll never hit a homerun, make that winning shot, or help lead your team to victory if you’re too afraid of losing. However, the Bible teaches about the importance of not fearing in all areas of our lives, not just in sports.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This verse calls us to be two things: courageous and strong. What do courage and strength look like in our day-to-day lives?
Being courageous means having the courage and boldness to face challenges and situations that scare us. This could be lots of different things–starting at a new school or job, tackling a big project for class, or maybe sharing the Gospel with a friend who doesn’t know Jesus. Countless times throughout the Bible, God empowers his people when they call out to him for help. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” When we call on the Lord for help, we can face these intimidating moments with confidence.
Being strong means we are well equipped and confident in the tools and the power we need to succeed. But strength isn’t something that happens on its own. Spiritual strength works a lot like physical strength: it comes from perseverance and discipline. Babe Ruth was able to be courageous and confident when he stepped up to bat because of the countless hours he spent practicing and exercising to get stronger. If we want to be well-equipped to face challenges in our lives, we need to practice growing our strength in the Lord in the same way. Spending time daily in God’s word and in prayer is a great way to help us grow our spiritual ‘muscles’ so we have the strength during times of trial.
Having the God of infinite power and love within us and rooting for us in everything we do is an incredible gift! With the help of the Lord, we can do far more than we ever could on our own. We can dream big and live boldly knowing that we don’t have to be afraid of failure. Even when things don’t go quite as planned, Romans 8:28 tells us that God works “all things together for the good of those who love Him.” When we live a Christ-centered life, we don’t have to be afraid: we know that God is always on our side.
What are some ways you can exercise your spiritual strength to become more strong and courageous in Christ?