There are certain scriptures that we all as believers know. Every believer knows John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Right, right, we all know this. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t hold up and quote these scriptures without understanding the significance.
We want the blessings but we don’t want to handle the hard parts of life. We want the highs but not the lows. God doesn’t promise a perfect, easy life. God promises us to be with us if we remain in Him.
In Joshua I thought it was great when God told him to be strong and courageous. It became an even greater verse to me when I realized what Joshua was up against. He was to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. After forty years of wandering around in the desert they were finally going to see the fulfillment of what God had told Abraham.
“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors 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. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I only took the be strong and courageous part of the verse. God only asks Joshua to be these things because He will be there for him. I’ve found that the times when I walk closest with the Lord is when I am striving after His will. When I put God first and make decisions based on what I believe the Bible says. I’ve been wrong a lot and made a lot of mistakes. It’s not the outcome but the fact that I tired that matters to God. People make judgments based on shallow things but God considers a person’s heart.
Focus on God and what He asks of you. God wants us to fulfill His will for us. He loves us and knows what is best for us. Like a good father he will guide us if we are willing to wait on Him. We are called to be a peculiar people. We aren’t going to fit in. God wants us to lay down our burdens and let Him in to help us. Then you too can be strong and courageous.