Be Strong

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever we go” (Joshua 1:9).

Remember from Sunday’s sermon that the Hebrew people stood on the bank of the Promised Land, which God was giving them as a gift of His grace. He tells them not to be afraid, instead be strong and brave. These instructions from God may seem obvious to us, but they were serious to them. Their lives and futures were at stake. Only one thing stood between them and the fulfillment of God’s promise. That one thing was fear! More specifically, it was fear of moving forward to claim the land God had promised them. I suppose there may be many of us who are facing some challenge in the near future that causes us fear or, at least, concern.

Why is it that sometimes we are afraid to face our challenges? Why is it that we, at times, would rather back away from them and pretend they do not exist?

Perhaps it is because of past experiences. We have been through hard times; we have tasted failings; we have been burned before and we do not want to go through it again. On the other hand, maybe it is because of present interruptions. We cannot bear to add anything else to daily responsibilities and demanding activities. It would be too much to handle. Alternatively, it might be possibly because of the idea of future sacrifices. The suggestion of more conflicts ahead or greater demands in our future may feel overwhelming.

For the Hebrews, Moses had already given them the reasons why they should move forward and take on the challenge of conquering the Promised Land. Moses gave them this instruction in his farewell address (Deuteronomy 6:1-24). The reasons Moses gave in v. 24 were these:

·       For our good
·       For our survival  

To put it simply: It was worth the sacrifice! We should learn this—

We, too, must be strong and courageous to face the challenges which life brings to us as we move toward the Promised Land God has for us. We do so because it is worth the sacrifice. It is what is best for us and our God will walk through this with us. God promises: “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Remember this: No fear, only trust!

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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