Be Strong

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
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Deuteronomy 31:6 – So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (NLT)

Sometimes, what's ahead and behind is just as important as what's in the middle. My wife and I took a vacation to visit my brother and sister-in-law, who recently moved to West Virginia, USA. They live in an area where coal mines are prevalent, but not much else. Their home is situated on the side of a mountain and in a valley where the sun doesn't rise until 10 a.m. and sets at 3 p.m. Across the highway is a small stream paralleled by railroad tracks. Several times each day, I heard a whistle blow, saw a bright light, and then marvelled as two engines pranced around the corner of the mountain pulling a number of cars loaded with coal. After what seemed like an eternity, the end arrived, pushed by two equally strong engines. What pushed and pulled the train was just as important as the precious cargo in between.

Moses led the Israelites through forty years of wilderness wandering. God went before them to the Red Sea and positioned Himself behind them when Pharaoh's army pursued them. He led them with a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. Neither their shoes nor their clothes wore out. He supplied water, meat, and manna. Now, it was time for Moses to die. Joshua would take over. God would be the energy behind Him and the Israelites as they conquered the Promised Land.

God gives believers the same promise. I've learned that when I don't let Him go before and behind me, I'll make a mess of things. He doesn't appear in a pillar of cloud or fire, but rather in the continual, abiding presence of His Spirit residing in me. If I pay attention to the still, small voice speaking to my heart, I'll find power to make the right decisions, take the proper paths, and find the correct answers to life's most important questions.

Like the train engines, God provides the strength. All I must do is rely on it. What are you finding strength in to face each day?

Prayer: Father, we pray for Your strength to face life's journey and all it holds. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thought provoking message Martin.

    Be strong for God with you always.

    Thanks Martin for reminding us Who is our strength. Blessings.

    Absolutely excellent! Thanks for sharing this powerful and effective message.

    Thanks for a message of encouragement for all to understand. Train engines speak compellingly to people of all ages.

    Great message Martin. Thank you for reminding us to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

    Amen Martin. Can’t say l would like living with such a short span of light each day however. At present we are light from 4am through midnight.

    Thanks Martin for reminding me that God is not charging forth before me with a pillar, but is urging me instead, with still small voices. God bless you for bringing us this inspiration.

    Thank you Martin for this great reminder. If we only listened to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, many things in our life would be far easier, but alas sometimes we don’t do that, and then we go through more adversity then we needed to.

    Thanks Martin
    I got the final message about our strength in the Lord and the strength about the train Engines pulling the heavy load of (Coal)! But what do people use the Coal for?

    Thank you for today’s devotional. God supplies just the right scripture verses when I need them. I found out recently that my husband has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. Praying for strength to cope with what is coming. Thank you.

    Hi Martin,
    I find strength in the faith of our fathers, the upbringing in a Christian home. Our daily devotions and the work of the church I do on a weekly basis, it gives me strength and enthusiasm to carry on, even at my advanced age.
    Enjoyed your devotional.

    Dear Martins,
    I am indeed very blessed with this daily devotional messages. This particular one is wonderful!
    I pray to God to grant you more wisdom, long life in abundance and sound mind and grace to win more souls for our Lord Jesus Christ in Jesus name.
    My regards to all our brethren over there.

    Martin: Thank you so much for this message today. I have had some disappointing news and am quite angry. I really needed to hear what you said. I do need to step back and to pray about it. Right now, I want to say something but I realize that I need to calm down first.
    God sent this dialogue to me because He knew that I was hurting.
    Thank you and God Bless.

    Good morning, Martin:
    I found this devotional very impactful, and very attuned to some things I am facing in my own life.
    Fear is so powerful. There have been times when I have felt my life ruled by fear. I used to jokingly say that I go through life in a mild state of terror. I meant it as a joke, but there was a grain of truth in it. The passage you quote from Deuteronomy is one of many in the bible that assures me — and reminds me — that I don’t need to be enslaved by that fear.
    I’m so grateful to have read this devotional this morning.

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