Monday, March 18

Be strong and courageous

Scripture: Joshua 1-2, Psalm 37, 1 Corinthians 3

Joshua 1:6 Be strong and courageous… (also verse 7, 9, 18)

Observation

“Be strong and courageous.”  You can’t miss this theme in Joshua 1.  Three times the Lord tells Joshua to be strong and courageous, and after he addresses the Israelites for the first time as their leader, they respond by saying, “Only be strong and courageous.” 

Joshua faced a daunting task.  He was replacing a much-admired long-time leader, Moses, who had an unusually close relationship with God.  He was leading a nation that often resisted being led, was rebellious and obstinate.  He was charged to take them into the Promised Land, leading multiple military campaigns against entrenched peoples defending their homeland.  Nothing about it was easy.

Perhaps Joshua was naturally timid or hesitant.  Or maybe he was a bold leader and the task was just overwhelming.  Either way, God and the people seemed to know that he needed encouragement.  “Be strong and courageous.”

Application

Anyone leading or facing change needs to be strong and courageous.  Maintaining the status quo is always the path of least resistance.  Move forward, advocate change, and you’ll face resistance—often, lots of it.  So many people quit when the going gets tough.  You need to be strong and courageous.

The Lord gave Joshua two powerful aids to keep him strong and courageous.

First, daily meditation in God’s word (v. 8).  God promised Joshua that if he would daily meditate on God’s word and do it, he would be successful.  That success implies that he would have been strong and courageous.  So it’s fair to infer that daily reflection in God’s word and doing what it says will strengthen and encourage you.  Learn it, love it, live it—you’ll be strong and courageous…and successful.

Second, God is with you (v. 9).  The Lord gives Joshua a reason not to be dismayed or to tremble, but to be strong and courageous: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  You are not alone.  God is going with you, so buck up!  Lean into His presence, and you’ll find strength and courage for the battle.

Prayer: Lord, I’ve got big changes happening right now and for the next 2 years.  Help me to be strong and courageous, to live in the Word and in Your presence.