“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
It's not a request,
It's not a desire,
It's not a want,
It's a command.
Standing face to face with fear and trepidation,
& flickering right above the darkest shadows
of all of your doubts,
Is a command from your father to be strong and courageous.
Resting in between each heartbeat
And lying right beside each failure
Is a command from your father to abstain from fear and discouragement.
The word courage has its roots in the old French word corage meaning heart. It is to no surprise that in times of fear, we are left to rely on our hearts' inclinations.
Our hearts are the seat of our souls.
Our hearts are the containers of our emotions.
Often times, how we feel is a direct result of what we think.
And what we think is often a result of the words we use to describe our situation.
That is why there is power in speaking in times of doubt.
That is why there is strength in singing during times of adversity.
Typically when we are depressed, doubtful, fearful, and or anxious, the first thing we want to do is remain silent. We isolate ourselves. Or we suppress what we are genuinely feeling by numbing our emotions. When this happens, we lose faith in speaking, we no longer value the power of expression and vulnerability.
Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows that entering those periods can be much like sinking into a formless void. Things begin to lose meaning. Light begins to fade into the dark.
But speaking is one of the most potent tools the Lord granted us. In the book of Genesis, the Lord created existence with the power of his voice:
"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'. and there was light." Genesis 1-3
Out of the depths of total darkness, light was birthed through the power of speaking. When you speak, your voice sends vibrations into the atmosphere, and your spirit begins to operate on another frequency. Words are powerful tools. What we say about ourselves often aligns with the quality of our lives.
Some valuable questions to ask yourself are:
What words have I been using lately to describe my situation?"
What words do I often use to describe myself?"
Much like the Lord speaking light into darkness, you can manifest power by speaking in moments of weakness. Some of the most notable figures in the Bible, including David, Elijah, and Jeremiah, struggled with crippling bouts of anxiety and depression. By leaning on the Lord's power, all of these men were able to find victory in their spiritual and mental battles.
What follows is a collection of verses that are meant to empower and encourage in times fear:
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Corithians 12:9
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
"The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans." Psalm 118 6-8
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26
"No weapon formed against you shall prosper" Isaiah 54:17
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12: 1-2
"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6: 11-12
"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
"Success is never found. Failure is never fatal. Courage is the only thing."
-Sir Winston Churchill