Do you find yourself at times wondering if you have the strength for what lies ahead of you? How do you muster the courage to tackle what you must? We can learn from the life of Joshua – how he found the strength and courage to lead the nation of Israel into the land promised to them by God.
Joshua was the successor to Moses. That, in and of itself, was a daunting task. Then he had to lead a nation into battle and establish a new nation. So where did he get his strength and courage? In Joshua 1, more than once Joshua is told to be strong and courageous. Each time he is told this, Joshua gains insight into a different source of this strength and courage. These same sources apply to you and me as face our future.
1. Strength and Courage come from the Purpose of God for your life
Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.
— Joshua 1:6
God was at work in the nation and had a role for Joshua to play in that work. Joshua was living according the purpose for which God had made him. How did Joshua know this was God’s purpose for him?
- Joshua had spent years near the presence of God.
- Whenever Moses ascended the mountain to meet with God, Joshua was at the foot of the mountain.
- Joshua had experience in trusting God.
- Joshua was 1 of only 2 men who entered this same land years prior and believed that God would provide victory to Israel. The rest did not believe it, even though God had promised them.
- Joshua had prepared by “interning” under Moses.
- Joshua was often at Moses’ side. He was learning from this great leader.
We can discover the purposes of God when we get close to God, trust him and learn from godly people.
2. Strength and Courage come from the Precepts of God in your Life
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
The idea here is that when we chew on and do the Word of God, we gain strength and encouragement. This morning before the sun arose, I sat on my balcony looking at a darkened lake surrounded by the trees and hills under the canopy of the sky. I prayed and read God’s word. The quietness gave me opportunity to chew on who God is and how to relate to him. In particular, I read of how Joshua and Israel were deceived. They would not have been deceived had they asked counsel of God. As I chewed on that verse, I was reminded of how God has given me insight for life when I have asked his counsel. I was also reminded of how things have gone when I did not do so. I have a fresh vigor to ask the omniscient one for counsel.
3. Strength and Courage come from the Presence of God in your life
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 separates Christians from others is that Christ dwells in us. We have the presence of God. Do you long for more of him in your life?
4. Strength and Courage come from the People of God in your life
And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
One our own, we can grow discouraged and weak. But God’s people have a way of spurring us on to godliness. We need one another. It is interesting that later in the book of Joshua, he returns the favor to the people. Like they encouraged him, he encourages them to be strong and courageous. Strength and courage are a direct result of genuine Christian fellowship. Who has encouraged you in your life? Feel free to identify somebody who has done this for you in the comment section below.