Be strong and courageous

strong-and-courageous 2Be strong and courageous… Be strong and very courageous… Be strong and courageous.                                                                              Joshua 1:6-9

Do you sense a theme here?
After the death of Moses, God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites into Canaan, the land of promise.  They were the descendants of the ragtag band of former slaves whom God had delivered from their captivity and led out of Egypt. If you remember the story, they were a fractious group, always complaining and whining and looking over their shoulders at their former lives. Their lack of faith and lack of obedience to God led to the original group not being allowed to enter Canaan. They were banished to wander in the wilderness until all of them died. Only their children actually entered the land.

It’s at this point in the story of the Exodus that Joshua is placed in command by God to lead the people in the conquest of Canaan. Although God would be with them and bring about victory, many vicious battles lay ahead before the Israelites could settle into new homes. Is it any wonder that God commands Joshua three times to be strong and courageous?

All of us face battles, be they emotional, physical, spiritual or mental. Do we have the faith to remain strong and courageous knowing we rest in the palm of God’s hand? Do we fight our part of the battle trusting God for the outcome? It may not come in the way we expect, but do we expect victory or do we enter the battlefield already defeated? The choice is ours.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Faith Challenge: Prayerfully give your battles up to God. Ask him where you need to be fighting and where you need to simply trust him.

Prayer: Father, please give us the strength and courage to fight where we need to fight, and to be still where we need to be still. Give us the faith to trust you for the outcome no matter what and to truly believe we can trust you in all things because you are for us. Amen.
Rev. Sarah Fotopulos, Associate Pastor