No matter where we go or what challenges we face, if we keep the Lord with us we can have the courage to do all we need to do to succeed.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2. In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
Teach: After 40 years of traveling in the wilderness, the Israelites were almost ready to receive their land of inheritance the Lord had prepared for them, but it wouldn’t be without risks and challenges. The Lord reminds them over and over to not be afraid or discouraged because He would be with them.
Scripture: Read Joshua 1:9 found above.
Ask: How does having the Lord with us give us courage?
Video: This video shows the Lord calling Joshua to be his prophet. Joshua was one of the two faithful “spies” who had scouted out the land of Canaan and found it to be a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:17). This video also shows the miracle God prepared for the Israelites to receive this land as their inheritance.
Teach: The reason that the Israelites didn’t inherit the land of promise 40 years earlier was because they were afraid and didn’t trust the Lord to provide a way for them to receive it. They probably couldn’t have guessed that the Lord would use trumpets–and their faith–to knock down the walls of Jericho.
Ask: Have you ever done something you knew was right even though you were scared?
Testify: God can make anything possible. He can provide freedom from slavery, food from the sky, water from the rocks, healing from looking at a serpent on a staff, and He can knock down the walls of a great city, but He does ask that we follow Him, receive His blessings, look to His Son, and play our trumpets in faith. When we follow what He asks us to do and stand by His side, He delivers us.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Teach: The children of Israel had witnessed many miracles, but after 40 years in the wilderness, many of them weren’t alive for the parting of the Red Sea or older miracles. They had been raised to trust in the Lord for their daily bread (manna), but hadn’t seen the full strength of the Lord’s hands.
It was almost time for them to receive the land of their inheritance, but all they knew of it was that it was a blessed land, and that it was inhabited by large, fearsome people.
Ask: Have you ever had a time where you knew what you had to do, but you were scared to do it?
Read: Joshua 1:9 found above.
Ask: According to the promises made in our baptismal covenants, the Lord has promised His Spirit can be with us as our constant companion. How does it help to know the Lord is with you wherever you go?
Ask: How can having the courage to make one small, right decision after another make a huge impact on our lives?
Video: A young man demonstrated courage to live according to his principles in the midst of temptation—and it changed his life. Available to watch here.
Ask: If the police had NOT come upstairs and caught the students, would John’s decision still have been wise? Did the wisdom of his decision depend on whether or not people were caught? John’s friend’s plan was logical–just pass the drugs on without using them–but it wasn’t enough to protect them from the outcome of being kicked out of school and deported home.
Ask: How can we rely on the Lord even if His ways don’t seem logical to our understanding?
Teach: The children of Israel were told to surround the city of Jericho, marching outside the city walls, and on the seventh day to blow their horns and shout (Joshua 6:5). How could this have an effect on the great walls of the great city of Jericho?
Watch or Listen: For a short video presentation of the armies of Joshua defeating Jericho, watch here.
Or, close your eyes and listen to this powerful song. Imagine the faith of the people of Israel who trusted that God would deliver them out of this impossible situation.
Ask: Why does knowing God is with us help us to have strength and courage?
Quote: “Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.” –Thomas S. Monson
Having courage doesn’t mean we never have fears. It means we persist even if we are afraid.
Testify: Many examples in the scriptures teach us that the Lord will provide a way for us if we trust Him and have faith in Him. Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us. A yoke is essentially a heavy frame for connecting two animals together, side by side, so they can pull a heavy load. Jesus Christ has the strength to pull our load, no matter how heavy it is. He just asks that we walk with Him, by His side, as He carries our loads. If we trust in Him, and have the courage to walk by His side, He will not fail us.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Read: Joshua 1:9, found above.
Read or Watch: President Thomas S. Monson’s talk, “May You Have Courage.” He stated:
I’d like to talk with you about the courage you will need in three aspects of your lives:
- First, the courage to refrain from judging others;
- Second, the courage to be chaste and virtuous; and
- Third, the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.
Consider or Journal: President Monson said, “Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity.”
What temptations or trials do you feel are trying to rob you of the blessings of eternity? How are you ensuring that they don’t? How does being “strong and of a good courage” help you to endure well and remain faithfully on the covenant path?
Have your family knock down the walls of this puff pancake. The sides of a puff pancake grow large in the oven, but when it cools, the sides fall. Time this treat so that when you pull it out of the oven your family shouts. They will see how the walls come tumbling down!
Top with fruit, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, or just syrup.
If you have young children, use a rag to tie the child’s leg to a parent’s leg and have a three-legged race. Talk about being yoked to the Lord and how if we keep the Lord with us then we can have assurance that we will win the ultimate race. Show how being bound (yoked) with Jesus is like having mom or dad pick you up and carry you on the race. Stay with them [Him] and you can’t lose!
Becca loves audiobooks, cookies, hiking, walking, singing with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, going out with her husband, and raising their ten chickens and five children. She still wants to meet her hero Sheri Dew, see magma and a blue whale in person, and uplift others with her words.