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No Defeat Before the Battle

"Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."1

When she was only nineteen months of age, Helen Keller suffered an illness that left her blind and deaf. Soon she was unable to speak. By the age of seven she was extremely frustrated because of her inability to communicate. Fortunately, her parents were able to hire a twenty-year-old teacher to come and live with them.

The teacher, Anne Sullivan, was a very capable and loving individual and was able to help Helen by teaching her to communicate with the use of her fingers. Helen was greatly encouraged, learned to read by Braille, and then read everything she could lay her hands on.

She desperately wanted to earn a university degree and, passing the entrance exams to Radcliffe, pleaded with officials to allow her to attend and bring Anne Sullivan with her to translate the lectures into her manual code. The following is part of what she wrote to the admission office:

"I realize that the obstacles in the way of my receiving a college education are very great—to others they may seem insurmountable; but, dear sir, a true soldier does not acknowledge defeat before the battle." Helen Keller was a true warrior and a real winner! She "was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree."2

Being courageous doesn't mean the absence of fear. It means acknowledging the fear but not allowing it to control you.

Once you know your God-given life purpose—or your purpose for the present—God's Word to Joshua is also applicable to you and me today: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the courage to face all the obstacles in my life that would hinder my fulfilling my God-given life purpose—including your will for me today. Help me to always remember that you will always be with me and never leave or forsake me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Joshua 1:9 (NIV).

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.