Greetings, those needing courage!  Be of stout heart, for today is the day when you shall gain what you need!

To begin, watch this short video, then we’ll continue –

If that doesn’t get you properly pumped up, maybe this will.

I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

If there is one thing that can help us when we feel afraid, its the knowledge that someone bigger and stronger is coming along to help if there is trouble.  And our lives are filled with trouble – bills to pay, taxes, builles, broken homes, shattered dreams, threats of war – the list goes on and on.

But what does this passage from the book of Isaiah say? “Do not fear, for I am with you.”  God, the creator and maker of the entire universe, who designed and created everything from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest galactic cluster, who knew you before you were even knit together in your mother’s womb, has guaranteed that he will be there with you.

In the movie Braveheart, we get a glimpse of what warfare was like in the middle ages.  When the English fought battles, the commanders would stand at the back, behind their troops, giving commands from a safe distance while expecting their men to go ahead and do all of the fighting.  While this made the battle more logical and chess-like, it is hard to rally behind men who aren’t willing to fight.

That wasn’t true for the Scots.  William Wallace led every battle from the front line, rallying his troops to follow his lead as they charged into the opposing army.  He was the first one there, he was the one fighting the hardest.  And his men loved him for it.

God is not an aloof commander pushing his chess pieces around from the back of the battle field.  Instead, He says, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  He leads his men (and women) into the thick of battle.  The difference is that He has already won.  He is just allowing us the privilege of joining Him on his victory lap.

So you who desire courage, take heart – your battles are not yours alone, but already fought and won by the One who created everything.  As you go, know the Lord of Hosts says this –

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

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