I have always loved the Book of Joshua.
It is my “be not afraid” go-to source. It is where I camp when I need a reminder that God is sovereign and understands the struggles I face.
If you are ever looking for instant confidence, read the book of Joshua.
Remember, Joshua was guy who was put in charge of the Israelite Nation after Moses’ passing.
God decided, because of previous faithfulness on Joshua’s part, he would be the chosen one to lead the new nation into the Promise land.
I am sure Joshua was honored, but I also have to believe he was a bit overwhelmed.
He was one of the 12 spies who went out originally to scout the land. He saw firsthand the challenges of the new land. The fierce warriors they would be facing, the heavily fortified cities that would need to be penetrated, but he believed it could be done by the grace of God.
A generation later as God was preparing His chosen people to enter into the land, He spoke with Joshua. God’s words to Joshua were foundational in their promise and instruction.
In Joshua 1:5 God promised, “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”
Joshua 1:7 reveals God’s instruction: “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go,”
Armed with God’s promise and instruction, Joshua was successful in leading the Israelite nation into the inheritance promised to their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As the entire story unfolded, God’s faithfulness was very evident and never wavered. He always held true to what He promised.
The only time Israel ran into some rough spots is when they strayed from the precepts of God thinking they had a better way.
The pattern of conquering their enemies was this: obedience brought forth success and blessing; disobedience manifested itself as confusion and hardship.
What I find to be to interesting is that God never told the people there would not be enemies to battle and hardships to overcome.
Joshua had been in the land as a spy, so he knew firsthand what the enemy looked like and understood what they would be confronted with. Even with that that knowledge, he never questioned God’s plan of action.
Joshua simply obeyed the instructions God laid out before him to strategically overcome the enemy.
Joshua trusted God by allowing his fear to be overcome by God’s protection and provision.
The story of Joshua and how the Israelites came into their inheritance is really a timeless commentary highlighting the unfailing faithfulness of our Lord.
During my own struggles and battles in life, I can easily allow spirits of discouragement and disillusionment to seep deep into my soul.
Often times, I also catch myself fueling the struggle by challenging God’s timing or reasoning; putting just as much energy into questioning God than I do dealing with the actual struggle.
The Israelites were promised an inheritance, but they had to fight for it.
The same holds true for us.
God has promised us a glorious inheritance through His son, Jesus, but we have a part in fighting for it while here on earth.
God never promised us a trouble free life. In fact, as believers we understand that trouble oftentimes intensity as we grow and mature in our faith.
Jesus Himself reminds us of this in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We have an enemy in the spiritual realm that is just a real as the tangible adversaries Joshua faced.
Sometimes life brings circumstances that change the course of our life in a literal heartbeat. We are blindsided by events that shatter our dreams, leaving us shaken and disoriented. Cherished friends cause pain so deep we wonder how we will be able to trust again.
Our good news is those foundational words God spoke to Joshua centuries ago still carry the same message today.
A timeless and loving God allows His words of promise and instruction to indwell in the hearts and minds of every submitted believer.
In the midst of both crisis moments and prolonged struggles, I remind myself that the first reaction I must have is to keep myself aligned and attached to the vine (John 15:5).
When I do that, the promise, “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” can be heard above the fray and begin to energize my faint heart.
The instruction, “only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you” will bring clarity to my roiled mind.
My battle remains to be fought, but the plan to overcome is in place:
A faithful God is ready to stand with me; His Word laying out the perfect strategy for me to forge ahead in confidence and peace.
The young Israelite nation did overcome all obstacles to tame the land they were promised. They fought for their inheritance and, by the grace of their ever-present God, prevailed.
They were battle-tested, shaken, frightened, plotted against, hated, beat up emotionally and physically, deceived and drained of energy yet, they eventually settled into their Promised Land – their inheritance as ordained by the Almighty.
In life, we will also be battled-tested, shaken, frightened, plotted against, hated, beat up emotionally and physically, deceived and drained of energy, yet we have the same opportunity to settle into our own personal inherence as ordained by the Almighty.
God never intended for our lives to be so full of trouble and turmoil when He originally planned mankind.
God grieves with us as we endure hardships and setbacks.
God knows the enemy we face, and the ruthless assaults we must battle through.
But God…these two words trump everything!
But God, tells us “to be strong and courageous.”
But God, tells us “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Be confident that the inheritance – the promised land – God ordained for you can be entered into.
Just follow the path of His promises and instructions, trust in His faithfulness and rest in His sovereign care.