In Joshua 1, the most important words God spoke to Israel’s pain/fears was; “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. . . . The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5, 9).
It’s was a promise, but not just of land, or victory over enemies, or peace, or milk and honey. It’s a promise from God of God. “I will be with you.” If we really believe the God of the universe is with us — really with us — in whatever pain or fears we face, the situation will not be as painful.
Undoubtedly, our God does everything He promises, in every circumstance, at all times. When life gets hard, He is wooing us to trust Him and to lean even harder on His inherent word.
The Lord promises to sustain us, and rescue us in times of our helplessness. Isaiah 46:4 confirms, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
The “Be Strong” ministry was birth under the premise that with God on our side we have everything we need to make it through life’s difficult moments. However, we can’t simply tell our hearts to be strong or courageous, but God can (Joshua 1:9). If we want to find strength when we feel broken, weak, or courage when we feel challenged or afraid, meditate on what God has said — and do whatever He says. Let His limitless promises, His guiding commands, His magnificent works, and His mysterious ways wash over your pain, fears, and insecurities.
One thing is certain, as we strive to know and carry out God’s will, strength and courage from outside of ourselves, it will well up inside of us, by the omnipotent power of God’s Holy Spirit.
The next time we find the words “be strong and courageous” in the book of Joshua is at the end of the first chapter. After Joshua had heard from the Lord, he went to deliver the message to the people. They responded to him, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:16–18)
The once fearful people became God’s means of courage for someone else — in this case, for their new leader Joshua, for their new Moses.
At the end of the day, I am thankful and equally grateful that we have a God that dispels the illusion of false pain/fear and who picks us up and carries us all the way through, when we can’t walk anymore!