Be Strong and Courageous!

February 29, 2012

Joshua 1:6-7 ” ‘Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 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.’ ”

Change, no matter how big or small, is scary. It can be intimidating when you look out and see uncertainty and the unfamiliar.  I am sure Joshua was intimidated by the view of the new land he was about to cross into as he led the nation of Israel into the land God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The people there were powerful and numerous.  He may have asked himself how in the world a nation as young as Israel would ever be able to cross over into their promise.

All of us at one point or another have felt this same way.  Change has loomed over us like a giant in a strange land.  We probably thought there was no way we could conquer it.  Fear gripped us, and we stood unsure as to whether or not to cross over.

If we did not have a God in front of us who parted the Red Sea, provided manna for us in the desert, and made water come from a rock, then these fears would be well founded.  But God’s call to Joshua to be strong and courageous is for us today too.  What is more, we have the Spirit of God living in us when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, the very Word of God.  That Spirit conquered the grave and now dwells within us,  guiding and strengthening us.  If Joshua could have strength and courage because of the God leading him across the Jordan River, then we too can cross over into whatever change faces us, whatever uncertainty challenges us, knowing that the Lord fights for us.

This doesn’t mean we won’t be left with some bumps and bruises.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have to be obedient and take the steps to cross.  But what it does mean is that as long as we allow the Lord to fight the battles for us, we can be strong and courageous in the midst of whatever change comes our way. So in whatever you are going through, big or small, be strong and courageous; for the very Spirit that raised Christ from the grave is raising you to new life in Christ and the promises he has made to you for his glory.

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