Prior to moving into our most recent home, our youngest son had God’s command to Joshua printed on a sign that hung in his room: ”Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
After serving alongside Moses and witnessing first-hand many of the mighty works of God, Joshua had been handed the reigns. Make no mistake, God was still in charge, but Joshua would assume the authoritative position that Moses had vacated in his death. Those were some impossibly large shoes to fill. Can you imagine how intimidating of a moment that must have been?
God knew exactly what Joshua would need for the task: strength and courage. That’s why God charged Joshua to be strong and courageous not once, not twice, but three separate times (1:6-7, 9). But God wasn’t telling Joshua to search within himself to find some strength and courage hidden deep within. Quite the opposite, actually. Joshua’s strength and courage would come from outside of himself. More specifically, it would come from God’s promised presence with Joshua.
There’s a good chance you’re not taking over the leadership of a nation anytime soon, but there’s also a good chance that the Lord has called, is calling, or will you into something challenging or difficult. It might seem small and insignificant to others, but to you it might be downright intimidating. When—not if—that day comes, I hope you’ll be reminded of the words that hung over the dresser in our son’s room: ”Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)