“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Fear is one of the long-term landlords in the valley of life. Actually, fear owns a little property in all three terrains. But it is the largest landowner in life’s valleys. The trials and tribulations of life are where we are most likely to experience fear.
Fear is arguably the strongest human emotion. Fear sometimes motivates us to avoid and sometimes to do. Fear is the emotion that demands action.
Like every circumstance, we should view an environment that elicits fear as an opportunity. Some of the greatest traits of humanity – courage, perseverance, and sacrifice – are impossible without fear. We overcome fear not by eliminating it but by persevering in spite of it.
In this verse, there is actually an embedded choice of whom or what to fear. Do we want our actions to be prioritized by fear of our circumstances? If we “tremble” or are “dismayed” we will likely also despair. We might surrender. But if our greater fear is disappointing God, missing out on the blessing he promises for our obedience, then the fear of the Lord can power us over fearful circumstances.
Scripture states plainly that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Placing our fear of God above all other fears leads to the obedience of courage. God calls us to be faith superheroes that run toward, rather than away from the pitched battles of life. Living faithfully will bring conflict with the world. God calls us to courage in him. Because he is with us, wherever we go.