Be Strong

Saturday, August 1, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For The Beauty Of The Earth"1 (Lyrics)

Joshua 1:6-9 – Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (NRSV)

It is impossible to travel anywhere in Nova Scotia, Canada, without confronting a sign reading "Nova Scotia Strong". Nova Scotia has had to learn to be strong in the first months of 2020. With the rest of the country, we had to respond to the spreading pandemic, and for us, it focussed on Northwood Manor, where I had visited so many seniors while at the Presbyterian Church of St. David in Halifax. We encouraged each other with the words, "Be strong", and the community rallied to stand with staff, residents, and families facing sickness and death.

Then, the worst mass shooting in Canadian history shook the rural communities known for their peace and tranquility, and within hours, the entire province rallied to the call, "Nova Scotia Strong", and we were determined that this tragic event would not define us as a people. Then came helicopter and jet fighter deaths of Nova Scotians, and a young child swept away by a flooding river and … you get the idea. Yes, even through these tragedies, we called out to one another, "Be strong and of good courage."

Did you notice in today's passage that God encouraged Joshua not once, not twice, but three times — to remain strong in the face of the trials and tribulations that would come his way? The final encouragement actually comes as an order: "I hereby command you".

Friends, you may never have to face the trials and tribulations that have come to Nova Scotia in 2020, but the day is coming when you will need to hear the call to be strong and of good courage, to be neither frightened nor dismayed.

On that day, be confident that the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Let this be your watchword:

Psalm 27:13-14 – I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let Your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (NRSV)

Prayer: God, You command us to be strong, but this is impossible without Your presence. Lord, fill our hearts with courage in the circumstances and situations that we face daily. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kenn.

    Another timely message, Kenn; thanks.

    Thank you for your strong testimony, Kenn.

    Good one Kenn. Thanks.

    Thank you, Kenn for a good challenge today. We hope you will keep writing.

    Yes, Ken, let’s remain rooted in Jesus Who is our strength. Thanks for writing this devotional. Blessings.

    Thank you for today’s message. It was exactly what I needed to hear and has helped with what I’m facing.

    Thank you Kenn for this post of encouragement, it has been quite a year!
    Knowing God is with us makes all the difference. Blessings to you!

    Dear Kenn,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences in Nova Scotia and let us all remember to be strong and trust in our Lord. Blessings.

    Thank you Kenn. The blue material with a “Pray for Nova Scotia” heart remains tied to our tree since the shootings.
    Keep Well and Keep writing.

    Thank you for those encouraging words. We are not alone when God is with us.
    May SHALOM cover you and yours, your beautiful province, and indeed, our whole country. How we need Him to guide and protect!

    Thank you. Nova Scotia has had a terrible spring and summer. God is faithful and ever present. In Manitoba, our COVID 19 numbers are very low but starting to increase. We need to stay close to God and the guidelines from our health officers.

    Thank you for your excellent devotional. The passage from Joshua has been a favorite of mine through the years, and Psalm 27:13-14 has been a favorite of mine since high school days when my music teacher had me sing “The Lord Is My Light” by Oley Speaks.

    Good to hear from you, Kenn, and to read your devotion for today.
    Thank you for the message in the reading today. It is not always easy to stay STRONG, but with the Lord’s help, it can be done.

    Good morning Ken,
    During these days when there are so many strange things going on it is hard at times to stay strong, but through faith we persevere. Thank you for your good words.

    O What a hopeful, helpful writing you have given us today, Kenn. My son and his family live in NS so your writing is particularly apt for me. Taken all together, these circumstances you mention really do seem overwhelming – except for your reminder that God is in it all! Thank you for sharing your faith and strength today.

    HI, Kenn,
    Thank you for the very appropriate devotional appearing in PresbyCan.
    It was so helpful and well expressed… and a timely reminder to rely on God in the ever-changing situations of 2020 (and indeed, of life!).

    Good morning, Ken.
    Please know that many in the rest of Canada grieve with Nova Scotians. You have had a lot on your plate this year!!
    My special coffee cup I use each morning, if possible, has printed on it – Joshua 1:9. It is my daily encourager!!

    God bless you and the people of Nova Scotia!!!
    Thank you for this meaningful devotion. Powerful when you think how faithful God is through so much heartache and tragedy.
    This helps to encourage me, and I am sure the other readers so thank you.
    Have a great weekend and God bless

    Hello Kenn,
    Thank you for this devotional today. My thoughts and prayers have been with the people of Nova Scotia with all the tragedies they have recently faced and I especially dwell on prayer for the grandmother of the little boy who disappeared in the fast-moving stream. The biblical verses you have referenced are very pertinent to the situation all are facing at this time. Seeking our Lord and remaining faithful to His word gives us strength and reassurance to deal with happenings of every kind that come our way. May the people of Nova Scotia remain strong and especially be strong in faith.
    Blessings for your thoughtful writing.

    Wonderful message.
    We in Central Canada stand with you.

    Thank you so much for obeying God to write this.
    Many of us sure need this. Sometimes it’s hard to go on.

    Ken, know that right across Canada, people are with those from Nova Scotia in their trials
    Gods blessings,

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