Bible Text: Deuteronomy 31:8 | Speaker: Darlene Sala | Series: Encouraging Words | Tell me about your day—has it been a difficult one for you? Discouraging?
A lot of people in the Bible had days like that too. So discouraging that they felt like quitting. I think that’s why one of the most familiar phrases in the Old Testament is, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God knew we’d need to hear that—and we’d need to hear it often!
I found nine examples in the Old Testament where those phrases are used, or a simple re- wording.
Moses spoke them to the people of Israel, and to Joshua in particular, when it was time to enter the Promised Land (Deut. 1:21; 31:7, 8);
Twice God said them to Joshua–when he took over leadership from Moses, and again before the battle at Ai (Joshua 1:9, 8:1);
Then, in turn, Joshua spoke them to Israel when they faced the armies of Gibeon (Joshua 10:25);
When David gave his son Solomon the task of building the temple, he told him not to be afraid or discouraged (1 Chron. 22:13);
Twice Jahaziel spoke them to King Jehoshaphat as they faced foreign invasion (2 Chron. 20: 15, 17);
And last, King Hezekiah spoke them to the people of Judah when Assyria was threatening attack (2 Chron. 32:7).
How much those words of encouragement meant! Some of these men faced new leadership responsibilities. Others had been assigned projects that would challenge every skill they had. A number of them were headed to war with all its uncertainties and the possibility of death.
Furthermore, right after the instruction not to be afraid or discouraged, God would often add something like, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:8). “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). “For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). “Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you” (2 Chron. 20:17).
Friend, take those words to heart today: don’t be discouraged, because God is with you; don’t be afraid—just watch to see how God takes you through.