03/10/16 Do Not Be Afraid

READING: Joshua 1-4 

Even when we know that God is our warrior, we still sometimes fear when the battle is upon us. We know this truth because we’ve experienced it, but the Bible also paints this reality for us. In today’s reading, God assured Joshua that He was leading His people “into the land I am about to give to them” (Joshua 1:2). In fact, He promised He would give them “every place where you set your foot” (Joshua 1:3). With those assurances, the Hebrews were to “take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own” (Joshua 1:11). 

Yet, at the same time, the words “be strong and courageous” echo throughout Joshua 1 (1:6, 7, 9,18). Joshua was God’s appointed man for this hour. He had God’s promises to guide him. Moses had modeled faith for him. He had trusted God in the past. Now, though, he apparently needed to hear the words about courage over and over again. You see, even the most faithful leaders of God’s people sometimes wrestle with fear when their challenges are great. The enemy would want nothing more than God’s leaders backing off because of fear. 

These chapters, as you might expect, also tell us how to have courage when the battle is upon us. All of us need to hear these reminders of how to live in faith and trust:

  1. Know God’s promises. If He says He’ll give us the land, we need to know that commitment. (Joshua 1:3)
  2. Believe that God will be with us, never leaving nor forsaking us. (Joshua 1:5)
  3. Meditate on God’s Word, and obey it fully. (Joshua 1:8)
  4. Take first steps of faith, like the priests putting their feet in the water of the Jordan River before it rolled back. (Joshua 3:15-16)
  5. Celebrate what God does, and mark the victories as future reminders to be faithful — like the Hebrews setting up memorial stones after crossing the Jordan River. (Joshua 4:1-9)

Have courage today to live for God. Do not get discouraged. See His hand, and celebrate it. The Lord will give you victory. 

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps:

  • Go back and re-read the passages of Joshua 1 about not being afraid. Ask God to make you strong and courageous. 
  • Name one step of faith you need to take today. Under God’s presence, take that step into the water.         

PRAYER: “Father, You promised never to leave us. Thank You for not leaving me when I’m so prone to turning from You. You are much more gracious than I am obedient.”     

TOMORROW’S READING:  Joshua 5-8