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Chazak - Be Strong in the Battle!

    Nisan 11, 5770

Chazak - Be Strong!

Encouragement for the fight of your life

by John J. Parsons

Joshua 1:9a (BHS)

Be strong and of good courage, do not be not terrified or shattered
(Joshua 1:9)

Soldiers are often told chazak v'amatz ("be strong and courageous") before they encounter the dangers of the battlefield, but it's vital to remember that each of us is engaged in a spiritual war every day of our lives. This war is essentially a battle for truth. If we accept false ideas about the nature of reality, we will live in a state of weakness and fear, even if our reasoning otherwise seems sound. 

Before a soldier goes into the thick of battle he must be assured of the rightness of the cause. There can be no wavering or second-guessing the mission to fully engage the enemy. The whole person is involved in the fight – body, mind, and soul.  Second-guessing the cause can lead to indecisiveness and lethal weakness. 

Likewise the war for spiritual truth requires total commitment – body, mind, and soul.   You cannot evade the enemy by avoiding the fight. You cannot escape this war!  And since indecision is a type of surrender, you must consciously choose to engage the enemy with all your heart....  In this way, fighting evil is a corollary to loving God: If you truly love God, you will "hate evil and love good" (Psalm 97:10; Prov. 8:13, Amos 5:15).

It's easy to become "terrified and inwardly shattered," but God commands us to be strong and resolute. We must banish panic from our lives. Walking in the truth overcomes the fear of man. God is Light; God is Love; God is peace. We overcome evil with the goodness of truth (Rom. 12:21).

Nachman of Breslov once said that "The whole earth is a very narrow bridge (kol ha'olam kulo gesher tzar me'od), and the important thing is never to be afraid." Yeshua is the Bridge to the Father, the narrow way of passage that leads to life. He calls out to us in the storm of this world, "Take heart. It is I; be not afraid" (Matt. 14:27). When Peter answered the call and attempted to walk across the stormy waters, he lost courage and began to sink, but Yeshua immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt (lit., think twice)?"

So chazak v'ematz - "Be strong and courageous" (Eph. 6:10). God will see to it that everything will work out for the best. He works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Do not lose heart: Chazak chazak v'nitchazek – "Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!"

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew-English transliteration

Chazak ve'ematz, al-ta'arotz ve'al-techat

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