Be Strong and Very Courageous
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
While leading the children of Israel, Joshua would inevitably have his leadership challenged. He would face the fears and challenges that accompany leadership. Joshua would more than likely fight the temptation to compare his leadership, strength, and courage to Moses’ or the challenge of potentially thinking that others would. He would face the fear of failure and the fear of the unknown.
The Lord was well aware of Joshua’s thoughts. The Lord knew that the children of Israel would undoubtedly question if Joshua was indeed God’s chosen leader. The Lord, in His sovereignty, already chose the battles that Joshua would face and lovingly and firmly commanded Joshua to be strong and very courageous. Joshua was not to be afraid, shrink back, or be disheartened or discouraged when he faced his battles, for the Lord was with him wherever he went. The Lord repeated this command multiple times because Joshua would need to recall it multiple times.
Joshua was to be strong in knowing that the Lord’s presence would always be with him. Joshua, when tempted to fear, was also to be strengthened by the Lord’s presence. Joshua was to remain committed to obeying the Lord and to resist the fear that he would inevitably face throughout his leadership. Joshua was also to be very courageous, which was to embody strength with alertness, boldness, and bravery. Courage would come from Joshua’s faith in knowing that his strength and courage derived from the Lord’s omnipresence and particularly the Lord’s promise to specifically be with Joshua by never leaving him, never failing him, nor forsaking him. Joshua could have confidence and would have confidence if he rested in the promises of God.
We will face difficulties that will elicit fear, discouragement, and weariness. As children of God, we find strength and courage knowing that the Lord promises to always be with us. He will never leave us, never fail us, or never forsake us. Because of His ongoing presence, we can have great confidence and great faith because He is an ever-present help in our times of need. Make it personal and repeat God’s promises to yourself throughout the day by saying, “Has God not commanded me? I will be strong and courageous! I will not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.”
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