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Take Courage

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Life can and often does get us down at times. Disappointments, fears and burdens can weigh us down and affect our faith. Yet we are not called to a life of fear, worry, or dread. We are called to lead a life of strength and courage.

For many young Christians in school it can be quite tough at times standing outside the crowd and standing up for God's values and morals. It takes courage sometimes to stand out from the crowd. Many school activities and sports events are held on the Sabbath, and we must refrain from attending them to focus on keeping God's Sabbath and His law.

We must miss some days of school every year because of the Holy Days, and it can be difficult at first to explain the reasons to unsympathetic teachers and curious classmates. Likewise, it is hard enough to find a job these days, but it can be even more stressful when the Sabbath becomes an issue with potential employers.

It may take courage to stand out of the crowd; but when we keep God's Sabbaths and laws with love, we can understand God's greater plan and that He watches over us and blesses us for keeping His perfect law. God will provide.

Sometimes keeping courage and faith requires more than just standing out from the crowd. Before the Israelites left the wilderness and ventured into the Promised Land, they were faced with worry because the land was populated with giants and their future seemed uncertain in this strange new land.

In Moses' farewell address he told them, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). Moses then gave Joshua the responsibility to lead the people of Israel into the new land and even into war against raging armies. This was quite a burden to bear, and Joshua needed encouragement. He got it from the words: Be strong and of good courage.

God repeated these words three times in His instruction to Joshua, "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 (Joshua 1:9).

God's love is everlasting and He is with us wherever we go. Our future may be uncertain at times and the problems we face may seem like giants, but we should not fear. Remember, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). No matter what burdens we are called to bear and what challenges we face, we can stand fast and overcome all things through the strength that comes from faith in God.

Be strong and of good courage. UN