Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Be Strong and Courageous

 
"Be strong and  courageous.  Do not be terrifed; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9b

As we read in Chapter 1 of Joshua, God begins by telling Joshua, "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them - to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses...  No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous, because I will lead these people to inherit the land which I swore to their forefathers to give them.  Be strong and courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful in wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not 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."

God raised up Joshua for such a time as this.  Joshua no longer had Moses to rely on.  He was now the one who would be leading all of Israel out of the desert into the promise land.  He waited 40 years to see the promise fulfilled after Israel rebelled in the desert.  Joshua was filling the shoes of Moses and God knowing our weaknesses came to Joshua to give him encouragement, hope, knowledge, instruction and direction.  So he tells him three times "be strong and courageous."  He encourages him by letting him know that no one will be able to stand up against him all the days of his life.  He also then gives him hope by knowing that he will never leave him or forsake him.  He instructs Joshua that he will lead him into the promise land and gave him wisdom to continually meditate on his word and to obey it.  Then he confirms again to Joshua be strong and courageous, not to be terrified or discouraged because he is with him.  God was building up Joshua with his words to bring faith into his heart.  He knew that Joshua needed affirmation and encouragement. 

God today still speaks to us.  He desires that we enter into the promise land.  He knows that we cannot do it alone that is why he gave us his son, Jesus.  By receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive the promised Holy Spirit, who will lead us and guide us in our life.  He give us his word to provide us with instruction.  He also gives us the faith to believe what he promised.  He is the one who will be leading us into the promise land.  He is the one who allow no one to stand up against us.   Keep in mind though, Joshua still had to go into battle and fight for the territory.  He did not sit idly by waiting for it to happen.  We too, like Joshua have battles set before us.  God requires that we take action.  We have to fight off discouragement, fearfulness and terror.  God also comforts us by letting us know that he will never leave or forsake us.  He is the one who will give us victory in our battles.  We have to trust and rely on what he told us.  We have to meditate on the word of God day and night so that we may know the path to follow.  We too have to be like Joshua, seeking God daily to know his plans for our life.  So today we are reminded to "be strong and courageous, do not be terrifed; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Our victory is in what Christ Jesus has done for us.  Remain strong and stand firm.

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