“Have I not commanded you? 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 ESV
I’m so excited to being sharing the ‘why’ behind my latest enamel pin design which says, “strong & courageous.” More often than not, there is a story behind each of my designs and in this case there are two – the biblical story and my personal one.
As I’ve mentioned in a few posts on social media, I’ve been studying books in the Old Testament with BSF this year. We started in September with the book of Joshua and I was amazed by how the Holy Spirit used that book to speak to me and meet me in a season filled with unknowns.
I highly encourage you to read the book of Joshua on your own, but today, I’m mainly going to focus on Joshua 1 – even more specifically Joshua 1:9. To give you some context, the book of Joshua opens with the Lord declaring Joshua the new Israelite leader after the death of Moses. They have reached the land God promised to give them after 40 years of wandering through the desert. And in this chapter, the Lord is preparing Joshua to lead the Israelites in taking possession of the land. God not only gives Joshua clear commands on how Joshua should move forward, but He also encourages Joshua. He commands Joshua to “be strong and courageous,” to not be afraid, and to remember that He would be with Joshua and the Israelites wherever they went, whatever they came across.
Joshua was constantly asking the Lord for guidance as He led the Israelites, in each decision. When they followed the Lord’s commands, they prospered, but when they took matters into their own hands, they perished. And, in the Lord’s great and rich mercy, He forgave them when they realized what they had done wrong and continued to guide them. In order to be led, the Israelites had to be willing to follow – they had to trust that even when God’s way appeared difficult and impossible, He would keep all of His promises in His perfect timing.
His strength in me
As I studied the book of Joshua, I was drawn to Joshua’s relationship with the Lord – how he confided, listened, and really trusted the Lord. However, I saw a lot more of myself in the Israelites. Like them, I like to take things into my own hands, forgetting that God knows the future. Therefore, I need to be willing to be led and I can’t be led when I’m constantly trying to take control of my circumstances. I need to trust in His promises and as I read at the end of my study of Joshua, He will not back down on His promises (Joshua 21:45).
God continues to speak to me through His word as I make my way through many of the books in the Old Testament. He continues to remind me to trust Him. Not just to ask for more strength, but to pray that Christ would actually be my strength – that in Him alone I’ll be made strong and courageous, not through my own attempts to change.
My hope for you
It is my hope that you too will be inspired to find strength in Christ. That you would let go and let Him take the lead in your life – that He would fill you with His strength and give you the courage to endure whatever trials you might be facing. You can attempt to take on life’s battles on your own, but I’m here to tell you today that it’s so much better when you allow Christ to lead the way. Only He knows the future. He will comfort you, protect you, encourage you, and not just give you strength, but with fill you with His strength!
So, say yes to Jesus today, whether it be for the first time or hundredth time. Allow Him to lead you and see what He has in store for you! He reminds Joshua – and us – over and over again not to be afraid! He will be with you wherever You go and will always keep His promises!