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Be Strong and Courageous

Imagine you heard on the evening news that a band of nomads was attempting to take over a fortified city. Nobody would think they stood a chance, especially if their experienced leader had just died. As Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, it wasn’t just them against the world. We know that God was with them every step of the way (vv. 6, 9).

Nevertheless, their journey would not be easy. That is why three times in today’s passage, you read the phrase “be strong and courageous” (vv. 6, 7, 9). It doesn’t seem like Joshua lacked confidence. After all, he had volunteered to be a spy, and raised his hand when everyone wanted to turn back. Moses even handpicked the young man to be his personal aide. Rather, the Lord knew that the quest Joshua and the Israelites were about to embark on was going to be challenging physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Not only would it take all of their might, resilience, and composure, it would take all of their courage.

The key to success for Joshua and the Israelites came not from strength and courage but from a relationship with the God whose laws and commandments went with them wherever they roamed. The Law taught God’s people how to live righteously in obedience to Him. It also showed them their need for God’s grace and forgiveness. Unlike the barbaric and vicious living of their contemporaries, God called His people to be different. Their quest was tough. The road was long. Would they be able to find God’s power to be strong and courageous? Stay tuned.

>> Finding strength and courage in difficult situations does not always come from within. Rather, it comes from finding God even in the midst of your circumstances. God promises to give you the strength you need. What situation are you facing today? The courage you need is there for asking!

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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