DECEMBER 26

 

Be thou strong and very courageous—Josh. 1: 7.

 

"Be strong and of a good courage." There are different kinds of courage; one sort is begotten of egotism and self-reliance; another kind is begotten of a recklessness which fails to take into account the difficulties of the situation; but the courage which the Lord inculcates, and which all the spiritual Israelites are to seek to possess, is the one which, while coolly and calmly discerning the trials and difficulties of the way, and while humbly realizing its insufficiency for the occasion, is supported by a faith in the Lord—a trust in the Divine promises which enables them to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

 

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Courageous strength does not merely mean physical power and bravery; but also mental, moral and religious power and bravery, born of faith in God, hope for victory, delight in, and obedience to, Divine principles. It, therefore, consists of self-control, patience and bravery. It is necessary because of the untoward times in which we live; because of the issues Godward, Christward, Truthward, Churchward and Worldward involved; because of the foes that oppose us, as principles consisting of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness, and as persons, consisting of Satan, self and the world; because of the work that we have to do, each for himself, for the Church and for the world; because of the victories to be gained; and because of the final rewards to be attained. Such courageous strength cannot be developed by idleness or mere wishing. It can be gained by no other way than by a faithful use of the Lord's Spirit, Word and providences amid our daily experiences and conflicts, small and great.

 

Parallel passages: Josh. 1: 5-9; Deut. 5: 32, 33; 31: 7, 8; Isa. 35: 4; 41: 10-14; Rom. 8: 31, 37; 1Cor. 16: 13; Eph. 6: 10-16; Psa. 27: 1; 46: 1, 7; 119: 42; Prov. 2: 7; Judges 6: 14.

 

Questions: Have I been strong and courageous this week? Why? Where? What helped or hindered? With what results?

 

SOMETIME WE'LL UNDERSTAND

 

PERHAPS 'twill be in coming years,

It may be in the better land,

We'll read the meaning of our tears,

And thus, sometime, we'll understand.

 

We'll catch the broken threads again,

And finish what we here began;

 Heav'n will the mysteries explain,

And the, ah! then, we'll understand.

 

We'll know why clouds instead of sun

Were over many a cherished plan;

Why song hath ceased when scarce begun.

Ah, yes! sometime, we'll understand.

 

Why what we longed for most of all,

Eludes so oft our eager hand;

Why hopes are crushed and castles fall—

Some day, sometime, we'll understand.

 

God knows the way, He holds the key,

He guides us with unerring hand;

Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see;

Yes, there, beyond, we'll understand.

 

Then trust in God, thro'all thy days,

Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand;

Tho' dark thy way, still sing and praise;

Sometime, sometime, we'll understand.

 

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