Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So I’m on my lunch break and reading this verse….
Okay … so I’m going to go out on a limb here … but how timely is this verse for each of us? I ask that with the conviction that each of us has something God has been pressing us to do in obedience … in faith … and we just need one more “push” to do it. Do you need this word of encouragement today? Yes! And we all do! Faith is what equips us to be strong … to be courageous! Faith overcomes fear … it defeats discouragement. Faith convinces us God is ever present. He is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Since God is for us – we need to embrace the truth of this Scripture.
But, as usual, I see something here that caught my attention. Something that I had not considered before and I want to share it. Look at the first sentence:
Have I not commanded you?
Wow! Have you ever considered that God commands you and I to be strong and courageous? Is that not the key to walking forward in obedience to whatever He has called us to do? And when God gives us something to do for Him, will He not empower us to accomplish it? Look at the surrounding context of this verse:
Joshua 1:1-9 (NIV)
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “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 to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand 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. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very 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 wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
These are some powerful assurances and promises of God. They were spoken to Joshua – but I believe they have been written (recorded) for our hope and encouragement as well. God has given us good works to do … which He prepared in advance for us to do. (Cf. Ephesians 2:10) And He commands us to be strong and very courageous. He commands us to “exercise our faith.” Strong means we flex our spiritual muscles. Courageous means our will is engaged and expectant of a victorious outcome. Oh, there are battles ahead and there are challenges and oppositions to face; but God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. And I believe this strength and courage God commands us to exercise is connected to what we studied just last week: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) He is not the Spirit of fear. The Holy Spirit empowers us and equips us to accomplish the purposes of God in and through our lives. He fills us with the love of God. He imparts to us sound minds to understand what we need to do and how to conform our will to what God chose us in Christ Jesus (as His Body) to complete….
So I pray we will consider this thought today: “God has commanded me to be strong and courageous.” God has said, “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.” I pray we will apply this Word to our hearts and to the situations or circumstances that God has engaged us to be His instruments. Whatever the Lord God has called you to do … just do it! And know that God is with you to accomplish His will. Amen!