"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Not being afraid or discouraged isn't a request or advice; it's a command to be obeyed.
The reason God can demand this of us is because of the fact that He is indeed with us wherever we go.
Hebrews 13:5 promises that God will never fail me and never abandon me. And He requires me to remember this fact at all times by not giving in to fear or discouragement during the day.
So how does one do that? Just don't get discouraged? Just don't be afraid when it's a natural instinctive response to certain stimuli? Even without my consent, my heart palpitates and my hands sweat at times. Just what it it God expects me to do?
It's not that my pulse elevates; that's not sin, disobedience or mistrust. It's matters what I do next when that happens.
At the onset of a crisis I have a choices. Make something happen for myself, panic, or remember that God is with me always. That last one is the correct answer, by the way. The simple act of remembering who God is and what He does is the obedience He's looking for to this command.
And seeing HIM bring me through a crisis, challange, altercation, illness, or any other catastrophe is what will make my heart rate return to normal and NOT anything else I Do about the situation.
Dear God, This is a good command. It is a kind command. Thank you for requiring absolute trust from me all the time. You don't want me to hope in you and in money or you and good health or you and positive relationships but just in YOU and none of those other things that are unreliable. You don't leave, you don't forsake, you don't abandon, you don't run out, and you don't give up. Thank you so much for your goodness, reliability and love. In Jesus' name, I pray, amen.