We all face situations in life when we feel scared and alone. We are in that pit of indecision. “Do I stand still and do nothing – Am I a Coward?” or “Do I stand my ground as David did before his Goliath?” “Do I go forward?” or “Do I retreat?” “Do I stay in the pit I have probably dug for myself or fight, claw my way out?”
“Do I turn to the right or to the left?” “Do I take out my compass?” “Do I stand firm in the faith, hope, love and trust of my Savior Jesus Christ?” “Do I stand upon the power, presence of God as revealed through His Word?” Or do I just choose: “talk a great game when I need to because I’m waiting for another to come along and give me a vaccination against the call of God for my lifetime?
Many tough and very legitimate questions believers and non-believers alike are confronted by. However, we can all take some measure of courage from what today’s Bible verse offers our tendency to commit to a course of timidity. We don’t have to be scared or dismayed because the Lord is with us wherever we go.
One too many times, we can want to turn away from situations that seem scary or overwhelming. such as the calling God has placed into our hearts. However, we can face those situations with confidence when we begin believing what this verse says. We begin to believe that we’re not alone and that we’ve got God with us wherever we go we can face any situation. We’ve got God’s help on our side!
Joshua 1:1-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Encouragement of Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua[a] son of Nun, who had served Moses: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. 3 I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea. [b] 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.
6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. 7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. 8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite[c] it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. 9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
There he was, a summer camper, about halfway up a 100-foot-high rock face.
He started the climb with plenty of self-confidence, but now his palms were sweating, calves were quivering, and fingertips were slipping. He looked down, confirmed the instructor was definitely right when he said not to look down.
How much longer could he hold on?
One of the main reasons he came to rock-climbing camp was to show to his friends exactly how “strong and courageous” he was. He thought they’d all be suitably impressed when he “scampered up the rock wall like a mountain goat chugging a gallon of energy drink.” And now everything was coming unraveled.
Joshua 1:9 These ancient words speak to us today, “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.” What are they saying to you now?
Rock climbing takes a good healthy dose of both strength and courage. And God definitely calls us to be “strong and courageous.” In fact, He repeats it 3 times!
In fact, in this verse, he COMMANDS it. That’s no mere polite suggestion. If you believe in God, it should inspire confidence and courage for everything you face! Ah, but here’s the catch: This whole “strong and courageous” thing isn’t really about rock climbing, and it isn’t about your strength and courage.
Notice what this verse says is the basis of our strength: “for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This verse is not describing a kind of strength and a courage that’s based on our own ability to be “strong and courageous.”
No, it’s an invaluable lesson on character building and development: strength and courage based only on who God is; on how strong and courageous HE is.
Like when the neighborhood bully was about to give you a new “lesson in life” (so nice of him), but as the lesson was to begin, you both saw your dad coming.
A new surge of strength and courage rushed over you, not because you were suddenly bigger and stronger, but because of the strength and courage of your dad, and you trusted in that. That’s the kind of “strong and courageous” this verse is talking about. This kind of courage is based on something stronger than us: Something significantly, immeasurably, undeniably stronger outside of us.
Back to our climber left dangling on the rock face. At just about the point, he was going to give up, the guide yelled down “I’ve got you! Just sit back in your harness and take a break: lean into the strength of the rope.”
See, he began the ascent by strapping into a harness and attaching that to a rope so that he couldn’t fall. He leaned back on the rope for a moment. His legs stopped shaking. Arms stopped quivering. His toenails recovered. He realized he was safe. He couldn’t fall. Even if he slipped. He was soon able to relax himself, regain his strength and footing and his courage and continue up the mountain.
When you encounter the difficult trials of life, you can try to lean on your own strength and courage for some measure of time and long concourse of seasons, but there comes a point you need something stronger than yourself to continue.
Lean into the strength and the courage and the wisdom of the Lord.
Lean into the promises and truths of the Word of God.
Use God’s Rope, His Knot, Live Life Upheld by God – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Who do you think of when you think of someone who is modeling “strong and courageous?” What person comes to mind? How do you want to be like them? What do you think is their main source of strength and courage? What area of life do you feel like you need a healthy injection of strength or courage today?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
God, My Father, we all face situations every day when we need strength and courage. And we are often too tempted to lean on our own strength and courage, to depend on ourselves. Help us to look unto you first and foremost and to lean upon the strength and courage of who you are in every situation. Give us your strength and courage to boldly trust you completely to meet our every need. I pray this in the strength of the name echelons above all other names – Jesus Christ, My Life, My Lord, My Rock of My Salvation! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.