“My servant Moses is dead. Get ready now, you and all the people of Israel, and cross the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. Be determined and confident, for you will be the leader of these people as they occupy this land which I promised their ancestors” (Joshua 1:2,6).
Can you imagine? Here Joshua is grieving over Moses’ death when God gives him his marching orders: “Listen, Joshua, Moses is dead. I need a leader, so I pick you. Get ready now because you need to lead the Israelites into the land I promised them.”
Joshua’s mind must have been reeling. Maybe he was thinking, “Me? You want me to fill Moses’ shoes? Oh no! I am not up to this task. Did you see what they did to Moses? I’m not strong enough for that.”
“Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
The King James Version says that God commanded him to “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:” (Joshua 1:9 KJV).
From this, we can see that God had more confidence in Joshua’s ability than Joshua did. God was basically saying, “You can do this, Joshua. I know you can. Don’t worry. You won’t be alone. I am going to be with you the whole time.”
God was Joshua’s own rooting section, his cheerleader.
And it worked because in Joshua 1:10, the Bible tells us “Then Joshua ordered the leaders to go through the camp and say to the people, ‘Get some food ready because in three days you are going to cross the Jordan River to occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.’”
Probably still trembling on the inside, Joshua stepped up to the plate and took his rightful place as the leader of the Israelites. He did it afraid, knowing that God believed in him.
God believes in you too. When God gives us an assignment, He is confident that we can do it. He perfectly matches each assignment with a person He knows will do it justice. He never gives you an assignment to see you fail. He wants to see you win. He wants to see you succeed.
He is cheering you on, and He is saying to you the same thing He said to Joshua: “Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the determination that something, such as doing God’s work, is more important than fear.
You may be scared out of your mind to do the assignment God gave you. And that is fine. God didn’t tell us not to tremble or have butterflies in our stomach. He told us not to be afraid, not to run in terror from the situation. Instead He wants us to face each situation, each assignment, confident that He is with us, that He is cheering us on. He wants us to do it afraid.
Next time you are afraid to do God’s will, be like Joshua, look terror in the eye and say “I may be afraid, but I am doing it any way.”