Having Courage to Acquire Courage

It is the last month before the school year ends. I am not sure if many of you guys know, but I am an English teacher. I teach 8th grade English Language Arts and this is my second year teaching, because I count my internship as my first year. About a week ago, I was speaking to a veteran math teacher and I told her Ms K, “I don’t have the slightest clue how I am going to survive? Not only that but it gets harder and harder for me to get out the bed in the morning, it is such a battle to have bible study or quiet time with the Lord. I know I need Jesus but a part of having bible study–I come to realize is acknowledging my fears.”

Hmmm….have you guys ever had this problem? Sometimes, your fears grow so large you curl up into fetal position instead of getting down on your knees and worshipping God. If this happens to you, then you’re not alone, as Christians our default setting is not always prayer but panic mode. Hopefully, my little spiritual adventure will give you much needed insight and encouragment to face the fears and worries in your life, God’s way.

Often, I am still struggling with the truth that I am a teacher and I have to be a teacher! Being in teacher mode is a full time job, and I never realize how overwhelming it is. Taking on the burdens of my students, receiving the brunt of their attitudes and behavioral issues, and not to mention the administration. I feel a lot like Joshua, probably wishing the Lord would have chosen another candidate to lead the nation of Israel into the promise land. Mornings, my heart quickens agonizing over the possible disasters that could happen in my day. What if this student gets into a fight with another student? What if I am evaluated on the spot? What if my student says this and does? I know Joshua has tons of questions coursing through his mind as Moses charged him with one of the greatest migration jobs in human history.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit brought a verse to my mind. I yoyfully remember God’s promise to Joshua in the Bible and it gives me great hope.

Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

“9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Examine the scripture the first question is, who has given Joshua this command? Moses or Aaron? Neither it was the Lord God. When the Lord God instructs us, our response should always be immediate obedience, not because we’re mindless slaves. But God has a plan worked out. The Lord never looks at life through a peep hole; He sees absolutely everything. The door, the peep hole, the interior of the house, the fixtures and built in applicances that need to be fixed. The Lord God is absolute in His wisdom and He knows all of our situations from the inside out and top to bottom.

How reassuring it is God not only knows our situations, He also knows us! God is well aware of what fears and anxieties make our insides shake and shiver. Therefore we’re commanded us to be “strong and of good courage.” Notice God commanded us as He did Joshua and you know what I am in a similar circumstance as Joshua when I think about it, because Joshua did not know if he was capable of leading thousands of people as Moses did. I bet in Joshua’s situation, He was feeling scared, frightened, worried. I bet so many thoughts were running through His mind, so many questions, so many ways it could go wrong. But you know what God instructed Joshua and reminded him those thoughts or scenarios were not important.

He commanded Joshua to “Be Strong” and of “good courage,” as I know the Lord God is telling me right now. Why? Because God already has a planned worked out for my journey as He did Joshua. He already has the victory in store and God had chosen Joshua for this particular calling. God does nothing by accident, and to comfort Joshua or us even more, God doesn’t tell us the future so we can feel safe and secure. Instead He tells us something even better that He is with us wherever we go. I can be strong and courageous because I am not facing my Goliath alone. I am not being a teacher by myself alone—I am not in the classroom by myself. Instead the God of Heaven is with me as He was with Joshua, Moses, Jesus, David, Esther, and so on. I can be strong and of good courage because the Lord my God, my Father is with me, wherever I go. No matter what happens today I trust God to do what He has promised to do, Stay with me, and give me peace.

With such amazing truths we read in God’s Word, it is unfathomable we all search for comfort and peace elsewhere. Whether our coping mechanisms is sin or not, I know for myself, one of the reasons I cling unto to waiting for a husband so bad is because I miss the encouragement, the security that I am not doing this alone. Human community or interaction is vital for our survival.

Humans are designed as social creatures. Support, guidance, encouragment are essential elements we need to become health members of society. In the past I almost always had a wonderful word of encouragement from my previous boyfriend and sometimes it gets hard on my own. I try to find this reassurance through escapism, music, or social media and fantasy worlds. In the end I am left snapping and yelling at my students, out of fear or panic, or unchecked anger. O Beloved, Christians are to behave and imitate Christ. Stealing away the ability to live godly are the fleshly habits we feed. Learn to resist the desire to cope and believe the reality of the Word God, because it is truth. In the midst of my situation, I quieted my heart and spirit and focused solely on this verse. I prayed the Holy Spirit marinated God’s truth into my core and that I would act in faith as I taught the rest of my classes.

Each moment I concentrated on God’s Word, the stronger my resolve became, the greater increase of my courage I had. iStock_000073257165_Large-760x501My favorite line out of my meditation piece was this, “I can be strong and courageous because I am not facing my Goliath alone. I am not being a teacher by myself alone—I am not in the classroom by myself. Instead the God of Heaven is with me as He was with Joshua, Moses, Jesus, David, Esther, and so on. I can be strong and of good courage because the Lord my God, my Father is with me, wherever I go. ”

When I finally believed God was with me, and I was determined to be obedient to God’s command to be “strong and courageous,” is when the power of God’s Word manifested in my situation. It is our faith in God’s promises that activate, not how holy or righteous, or perfect we are. For God’s Word is not a fairy tale or story it is all 100% real. The Lord’s promises are 100% true and by you and I believing God’s Word, we are making His promise our own.

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