John 16:33: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When I read these words this morning, I immediately thought of Joshua 1. God came to the new leader of Israel and in spite of the daunting task being faced by Joshua, God said, "Be strong and courageous." Joshua "took heart", brought down the walls of Jericho and conquered the promised land.
Then I started thinking about other examples of courage in the Bible. I remembered Gideon, who was hiding in a cave when God found him. With the power of God behind him, Gideon "took heart", tore down the idols and defeated the enemies of God with a greatly inferior army.
I remembered David, who "took heart" and took down the giant.
I thought about Daniel, who "took heart", continued to pray and became the world's greatest lion tamer.
I looked at the list of people in Hebrews 11 who all "took heart" and lived by faith.
Then I said a short prayer of thanksgiving that God has already won the victory. Now, I'm going to "take heart" and go out and live for Him in spite of this world's trouble.
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