6 Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. 9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:6-9)
What three things must both Joshua and you remember in order to muster the courage to do the will of God?
Being courageous doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone when you are to do something that requires you to follow the will of God. To go it alone is futile because, alone, you can never get the outcome you desire, no matter how hard you try. Joshua was about to do something so much bigger than himself that he needed a strength greater than his own will and body could endure. Joshua was about to lead a nation of millions into the land God had promised them long ago, and now the time was here to finally acquire it. And, since God knows just how weak we can be when involved in a challenge that is bigger than we can handle, He places Himself firmly in the lead. Yes, He gave Joshua the leadership to accomplish this great task, but He also kept the final hold on what the people were about to do.
God told Joshua to be strong (confident) and very courageous and to follow the Law of Moses to the letter, so that he and the people may find great success in the land and in whatever they set their hand to do. For a while, the people did as God had said, until time and other cultures pulled them away from the God of their fathers, and the nation fell into apostasy. Knowing this reminds me to always place my trust and faith in God that whatever He calls me to do, I will not have to do it without His strength and knowledge. If I keep the knowledge of God, found in the Bible, with me at all times, I will not stumble because His Word always tells me His will for that moment.
As long as I keep in my heart the promises of God for my life and mission that He has willed me to do, I will not know fear, or be dismayed when circumstances come up in that mission that may want to make me give up and go a different way. As long as I remember that God is with me in all ways then my mission will be a success, even if it takes the rest of my life to accomplish. My strength to do God’s will comes only from God Himself through His Holy Spirit who lives inside me constantly guiding me in the path I am to follow. If I continue to follow the example of Joshua then I will not fail and the mission God sets me on will succeed, too, even beyond my wildest dreams and goals.
Comment: "God acknowledges there will be trials and warns Joshua to be courageous, just as He wants us to have courage today as we face the trials of modern life."
Author Response: As Christians, we know that trials and such teach us to be courageous and trust God to see us through. But what is courage? Is it the absence of fear, or the control of it during the struggle? Who is more courageous -- the woman raising three children on her own with a low paying job; or newly appointed Captain in the Army who is about to take his first command into heavy battle? Who is more courageous -- the man who says that getting drunk every day has to stop, and gets himself into AA or a hospital to begin to overcome his addiction; or a man whose wife just found out that she has cancer and will not live six months? Being courageous is different for each and every person. Some would say that driving on the road today takes great courage. Some would say that just getting out of bed every morning takes great courage. Some would even say that taking college courses takes great courage when you don't really know the material. What does it really mean to be courageous? To me, being courageous means that I can't do life alone anymore, and that I need someone to help me get through all of life's ups and downs so I don't destroy myself. To me, being courageous means to turn my life over to someone I've never met, hoping that he would do me right and not take advantage of me in the process. Turning my life over to Jesus Christ was the hardest and most fearful thing I had to do 14 years ago. It was either that or die. Thankfully, Jesus doesn't wait until we find the courage to do so; He gives us all we need to make the transfer of life alone to life with Him. What is courage? Courage is Jesus Christ, plain and simple.
Comment: "We must learn to trust Him and not allow ourselves to be overtaken by fear. We need to know the Word and focus on it daily and we need to be obedient to the Word as we hide it in our hearts. After all of this He can and will bless us!"
Author Response: For me, one of the biggest attributes of God that permeates throughout the Bible is simple trust. Trusting God is everything! If you cannot trust God, even in the slightest way, then where will you place your trust, how would we survive our struggles? Trusting God means not only knowing His word in the books of the Bible, but it is a greater thing to know the works He has done in our lives. Trusting God means keeping all of the times that that trust has blessed you on the surface of your heart. Always remembering, in the strongest sense possible sense what God has done for you in the past and especially in the present, will bring you to a place in your walk with Him where you will know without a shadow of a doubt that He will bring you through the struggle, set your free, and set you on your way into the next blessing He has for you. I have watched God do some amazing Joshua moments in my life. Like Joshua, I know that I can trust God implicitly, without doubt, and especially without fear of what He will bring to me next. I look forward to what God has for me next. Like Joshua, the promised land for me is not so scary because God is the one to lead me through it.