This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Relate: “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times!” This common expression associated with parenting comes from the need to constantly tell children the same things over and over. I think I have told my son to chew with his mouth closed a thousand times. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve also told him that I love him a million times. Repetition is used to help us learn and to add emphasis to important messages.
We see repetition of a few messages in Joshua 1: obey my instructions, I am with you, and be strong and courageous. In fact, God told Joshua to be “strong and courageous” three times. So, why the emphasis?
Israel failed to take the promised land the first time because they were not obedient, and they lacked courage. Even after all they had seen God do for them to bring them out of Egypt and sustain them in the desert, they did not trust that God would give them the land. They acted out of fear, and they missed out on the blessing because their faith in what God could do was weak.
React: Strength and courage are a result of obedience and an understanding of the power of having God on our side. We can face the challenges of life with strength and courage. Let me say that again, if you will seek to obey God and remember that he is with you always, you can approach obstacles with strength and courage. Last time: be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Dear God, thank you that I do not have to live in fear or doubt. Let me live my life with strength and courage because of who you are. I praise you, and I thank you that my life is in you. I pray for your blessing and peace on those who have forgotten you are with them. I pray that you will remind them again and again of your presence and your power. Amen.