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Be strong and courageous…

Joshua 1:9 says, "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 was a proven leader.  He had served as an aide to Moses, and now Moses was gone.  Joshua was called to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the promise land.  God told Joshua that no one would be able to stand against him.  He told him in Joshua 1:5, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."  But even Joshua needed encouragement.  Three different times in Chapter 1, he is told to "be strong and courageous."  It is easy to get distracted and discouraged.  When we take our eyes off God and place it on our circumstances and our obstacles, we can get disheartened and discouraged.  Discouragement usually brings fear, and fear can easily lead to defeat.  If you are God's child, you can be encouraged in the fact that He will never leave you.  He will never forsake you.  He will strengthen you.  Do you believe that?  Take your eyes off the circumstances and the obstacles; focus on God as He stands there with you and trust Him today.  Will you be strong and courageous?

4 thoughts on “Be strong and courageous…

  1. Misty

    Bro. Jeff, I really feel like God has tattooed this verse on my life itself. And not just because my son's name is Joshua, although I do not think that was an accident either. He has brought me through a lot of very fearful situations, and as you know, a lot of those have happened in the years since I have been at SBC, But the one fear that I have that I still really struggle with is the fear that I will fail God. And that is the hardest of all, because I know that I will, everyday.. Please pray that somehow, I will overcome this. Going through a spiritual valley, or desert is the worst feeling of all for a Christian. But the second worst would be for me, coming out of it with the fear that you will fall back into it again. And I never want to do that.

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! We are all really blessed to have you as our pastor!

    1. Jeff

      I will definitely be praying for you, Misty! Remember, too, that God uses the spiritual valleys and deserts to shape us and mold us. I know at times it has humbled me, as well. Even in the moments when God seems silent, He is still there. The Israelites in the book of Exodus found out that truth. And I've heard it said before that the only way not to fail is not to try. I know this is not a spiritual statement, but Michael Jordan said, "I have failed over and over again in my life, but that is what drives me to succeed." When you fail God (notice I didn't say "if"), admit it before Him and allow Him to pick you up, dust you off, and prepare you for another try! He is faithful when we are not. He is holy when we are not. He is good when we are not. Rely on Him to give you what you need and stay humble before Him. Praying for you!


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