“I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage…” Joshua 1:5b-6a

Following God’s Instructions

This morning I read and reread the first chapter of the book of Joshua. It is short, only 18 verses, yet it had so much for me this morning.

Joshua had just lost his mentor, his father figure, the man he worked alongside for years—Moses. Losing a loved one is heartbreaking—the feelings of loss, wanting to talk to them, hear their voice, receive those special words of wisdom—yet God was there with Joshua, as He is with us.

God had work for Joshua. God called Joshua to take Moses’ place as leader of the Israelites. God told Joshua, “As I was with Moses, I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5). God will, now and again, give us new leaders that He has chosen and called into service for His people to glorify Him. God had a very specific plan, as He does with our lives. Joshua listened, received God’s promises to himself, and immediately started to implement God’s plan. Joshua moved forward with God, and with God’s promises. “Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

God instructed Joshua to mediate on His Word day and night. When we are in the midst of change, crisis, loss, we can turn to God’s Word and reach for His promises to each of us personally, just as He personally was there for Joshua. I know, for myself, I need to spend quiet time reading God’s Word and praying each day. God has something for me, I need to be obedient to take time to spend with Him and listen. It is helpful for me to read the Scriptures aloud, so I am not just reading them, but also hearing them. It is often when I do this that I receive greater understanding and can apply what I am reading and learning to my own life.

This has been a devastating summer for our community, with massive fires, and homes and lives lost. Others I know have lost dear loved ones. I know some that are struggling with major health issues that only God can heal, and some with serious financial problems. God tells us to be “strong and of good courage.” He instructs us to turn to His Word, to trust Him, and when He reveals His plan for us, we are to go forward, in trust and courage.

“LORD, as we obediently meditate on Your Word, please reveal Your promises and direction for our lives. May we be strong and courageous to go where You lead us, knowing You will be there every step of the way, drive away our fears, and be our strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”