Scripture Reading: Joshua 1:7-9

Listen to this, “Outwardly, the average person appears quite self-sufficient, composed, sophisticated, self-controlled etc. That is the way we are expected to look in public, but as someone once observed, in every human being there is a frightened child.” This means that despite all these appearances, many are afflicted with sickness of, self-doubt, shyness, inferiority and low self-esteem. This was what God noticed in the life of Joshua, then he said to him, “Just be determined, be confident; and make sure that you obey the whole law that my servant gave to you. Do not neglect any part of it and you will be successful any where you go”.

Naturally, human being do not trust themselves, there is fear of the future and the world; so we find ourselves struggling over all these ‘sicknesses all through life. Very few people on earth if any have completely overcome “all these ailments”. Many young people sometimes demonstrate the impression of being confident, and self-assured, but no longer, one notices lack of confidence in them. The slightest challenge such as failure in class, joblessness becomes an unbearable experience. Beloved in Christ, the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of our minds today to the fear of God. Proverbs 14:26 says, “Reverence for the Lord gives confidence and security to man and his family”.

This means that when you get closer to God and in loving harmony and peace with him, your weakness, self￾doubt, shyness, inferiority, fears, low esteem, disintegrate. It is no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you and then you can stand up in all boldness and take over the mountain before you. You must therefore humbly surrender to God, seeking his strength, wisdom, guidance and approval. Hear St. Paul, “In all these, you build all your hope and confidence in God; and you can do all things through Christ that gives you strength” (Phil. 4:13). Never accept defeat. You do not need to be defeated, bowed down and crippled by anything. Always stand erect and speak boldly to your situation. The year must have been very rough. It could be that so many dreams are unrealized. Maybe, a lot of debts are right now hanging on you. May be the condition of your family now is a direct opposite of what you prayed for in January, do not stand defeated, rather stand on the power and name of the Lord, and declare your victory and freedom. Hear the Lord speaking to you as you prepare to walk into 2016 in few days time: “Be strong and courageous” (Verse 7). Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Verse 9 says, “Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for I the Lordyour God am with you wherever you go”. What a great assurance for us in 2016. Claim it; believe it and it shall be so with you! Peter the Hermit (not the apostle) said in his book titled FORTITUDE, “It isn’t life that matters but the courage you put to it”. Therefore, beloved in Christ, as you cross 2015 at mid night tomorrow and walk into 2016 gloriously, by the grace of God, trust in the illimitable power of God working in you with which you can do all things through His son that gives you strength. So commit your entire life and that of your family into the hand of God; be strong, courage and refuse to be defeated. The coming year shall be glorious especially as you start it with God in prayer and fasting.

Prayer Points:

1. Thank God for today’s reflection

2. Thank God for keeping you and your family to this day

3. Ask God for forgiveness in the numerous ways you showed disrespect to his person, deny his love for you by doubting his ability to help you

4. Pray NOW for confidence, strength and courage to confront your obstacles (name them) Pray for the courage and strength to walk into 2016 Ask the Lord for the strength and courage to partake in the prayer and fasting programme starting January 6th to January 29th 2016 January

5. Thank God for answered prayers

Exercise: Go before the Blessed Sacrament today

Memory Verse: Joshua 1:9