The Courage to Proceed – Encouragement for Today – February 24, 2020

Tracie BraylockFebruary 24, 2020

The Courage to Proceed

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 {Editor's Note to our audio devotions listeners ... although we highly value the audio translations of our devotions, we wanted you to know we will be pressing pause on them for an indeterminate amount of time, effective March 2. Please know this is not a permanent decision. It is our intent to revise this service as soon as possible. We will let our devotions audience know when audio will be available again.}

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

The traffic patterns were changing daily as construction continued on our local expressway.

Traffic was moving freely on both sides, so it was odd to see a long line of vehicles on the on-ramp waiting to enter the traffic flow.

From my passenger seat, I searched for a reason for the backup.

A woman was slowly driving her car down the ramp. She then got to the end of the ramp where her lane opened onto the expressway, and she came to a complete stop.

There didn't appear to be anything wrong with her car. And it seemed as though she didn't notice the blaring horns from the vehicles behind her.

She was paralyzed, unable to proceed with this new traffic pattern in front of her.

As we continued on our journey, I wondered how many people were impacted by her fear and hesitation and who would miss important moments because she refused to move forward. I also wondered how long it took her to gather the courage to move into the flow of traffic.

Seeing her unwillingness to proceed because of the confusing construction illustrated an important point: Second-guessing your decisions because of how a situation appears not only halts your progress, but causes a ripple effect on the community around you.

The path she was on was surrounded by construction trucks, barrels and repositioned lines so she decided to stop, delaying everyone from reaching their destinations.

As God says in Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

It's such a relief to know that because God is right there with you, you can proceed with confidence toward your goals and destinations, even when life's circumstances change.

Yes, the job loss, divorce papers or strong-willed children may be unexpected and bring a bit of chaos into your journey, but they aren't meant to completely stop you in your tracks.

No matter what things look like, you can courageously face stressful situations and life's alternative traffic patterns knowing that God is right beside you.

So don't dread the changes, doubt your decisions or fear the future. Instead, proceed courageously.

God's with you in the rumble, relationships and risks, always ready to navigate any route you take.

Dear God, guide my steps and nudge me forward when I drag my feet, doubt my ability or decide to stop along the way. Help me to courageously face each of life's circumstances today, knowing that You're with me wherever I go. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (ESV)

Psalm 118:5-6, "Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (ESV)

In the waiting, it's easy to lose hope. And that's where we find Israel in 1 & 2 Chronicles. While all hope seems lost, the author recounts the entire Bible up until this point to remind them that there is an Anointed King and He is coming. In between the ruins, there is hope for Israel. Hope for the waiting. This same hope is for us today. And that hope is Jesus. We are excited for our next First 5 study: The In Between, a study of 1 & 2 Chronicles! The In Between Experience Guide is now available in the bookstore. Grab your copy today! 


Connect with Tracie Braylock on Facebook and Instagram for faith and wellness inspiration.

Is there an area in your life where you're stuck because the stress of the situation seems too great?

What do you want to accomplish knowing that God is with you wherever you go? Share your thoughts in our comments section!

© 2020 by Tracie Braylock. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105