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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. Joshua 1:9 NIV

Joshua had some enormous shoes to fill. His mentor of many years, Moses, had died, and now leading this group of ungrateful and obstinate people was up to him. Over the years, he witnessed their whining and rebellion in following Yahweh and his spokesperson Moses.

Israel would have numerous battles with surrounding nations to claim the Promised Land. Their new leader would need to be courageous, strong, and wise. Following Moses, Joshua was undoubtedly uncertain if he was the right person for the job. But like God had once spoken with Moses, he now spoke with Joshua, speaking the words of encouragement he desperately needed to hear, “Be strong and courageous." God repeats this phrase in verse 6, affirming Joshua's calling as Israel’s leader. Again in verse 7, in upholding the commandments, and in verse 9, with the promise God would be with him.

We can appreciate how Joshua felt. We have experienced times when we felt woefully inadequate in the face of the known and unknown. But the words spoken by Yahweh to Joshua thousands of years ago offer the same encouragement today, “Don’t fear and become overwhelmed; I am with you every step of the way. Take courage in me. I will give you strength.

Whatever we are going through today; sickness, financial concerns, fractured relationships, you name it–God is with us giving us the strength and courage to face these times of uncertainty. In the words of Paul, written centuries later, 'If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31)

Precious and loving God, we give thanks for the courage and strength you give us to face uncertain and challenging times. In you, we need not fear and distress. We place all confidence and trust in you. When we become discouraged and our faith falters, remind us of your promise. In your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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