Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
–Deuteronomy 31:6

When we are faced with impossible situations, many of us tend to respond in fear. We see this in the Old Testament as well. In Exodus 14, when the Israelites realized they were caught between a rock and a watery place, they panicked. Verse 10 says, “As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened.”

Whenever we encounter the unknown or the unexpected, our natural response is to be afraid. Perhaps that is why “do not fear” is the most frequently repeated command in Scripture!

God reassures us in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us. Notice Moses’ very next words to the Israelites as they trembled at the approaching Egyptian army: “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today” (14:13).

Countless times throughout Israel’s wilderness wanderings, Moses reminded the people to be strong and courageous because God was with them. In fact, it was the Israelites’ response of fear when they first spied out the land of Canaan that caused them to wander for so many years in the desert, one year for each of the 40 days the spies saw the land and responded in fear rather than trusting in God (Numbers 14:34).

Forty years later, addressing the next generation of Israelites before they finally entered the Promised Land, Moses urged them not to respond in fear this time: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Recalling this landmark incident many years later, the writer of the book of Hebrews encouraged believers with the same words: “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

As believers, we can choose to respond to our impossible situations with a confident trust in God, relying on the promise of Jesus Christ, who said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Seizing Your Red Sea Moment” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2005.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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