“. . . Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
— Joshua 1:9
If someone just left thousands of people in your care with the command to lead those people through wilderness toward a promised land, how would you feel?
Joshua had that exact experience. After Moses, the Israelites’ leader, died, God handed Joshua the leadership baton, and with it came the responsibility to lead the people safely to Canaan. God had created Joshua for this role; even Joshua’s name, which means “the Lord saves,” set Joshua apart to lead the people into the Promised Land. As you might imagine, if Joshua was going to fill Moses’ shoes, he needed a little encouragement. At the beginning of Joshua’s new ministry, God exhorted Joshua to have courage. Four times in Joshua 1, God commands Joshua to be strong and of good courage. God obviously wanted to get His message across.
You and I also need courage. If we want to fulfill the destiny God has planned for us, we need to step out in courage, knowing that God will blaze our trail for us. To receive our inheritance, to successfully fulfill our life purpose, to bring glory to God, we must have a courageous character. Following Christ isn’t an easy task. It requires great strength and courage because we never know what God will call His people to do.
But we can’t muster up courage on our own. Any courage we manufacture within ourselves will vanish in the face of our first trial. We need to get our courage from the Lord. When God told Joshua to have courage, He followed that exhortation with the promise that He would go with Joshua wherever Joshua went. In the same way, God gives us courage for whatever He calls us to do. How? Through our reconciliation with God. When we come to Christ and find in Him our redemption, we gain courage to fulfill God’s purposes for us. We get our courage from knowing that God is our Father who has accepted us unto Himself and whose providence watches over us.
Since nothing can separate you from God’s love, go forth boldly into whatever He has for you this day. “Be strong and of good courage . . . for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”