Scripture: Joshua 1:1-18
Observation: Following Moses’ death, Joshua was appointed leader of the Israelite people. The Lord repeated to Joshua the promises he made to Moses, encouraging him to be strong and courageous. Joshua then told the Israelites to get ready to cross the Jordan and take possession of the Promised Land. They responded that they were ready to follow Joshua wherever he went.
Application: Have you ever had to wait a long time for someone to make good on a promise? (I’m still waiting on some very serious pinky promises that I made in elementary school to come true…)
The time between when a promise is made and when a promise is fulfilled can be filled with a host of emotions –anticipation and doubt, hope and hopelessness. Oftentimes, the longer we wait, the more discouraged and doubtful we become, believing that the promise will never come to pass.
The Israelites must have shared that feeling. They were accustomed to waiting. By the time we meet the Israelites here standing on the bank of the Jordan River, they had waited hundreds of years for God’s promise to be fulfilled. It was a promise he made to Abraham centuries before, and now generations later, God’s chosen people were about to enter Canaan, the Promised Land.
God always makes good on his promises. Between the promise being made and the promise coming to pass, there’s a season of waiting, a season that requires us to believe and hope and persevere.
In this short section, God tells Joshua three different times to remain strong and courageous.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do…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.” (verses 6-7, 9)
(And if that wasn’t enough, the people actually repeat this back to him in verse 18, telling Joshua to remain strong and courageous.)
In waiting seasons, we must remain strong and courageous, faithful and focused, hopeful and determined.
What promise has God give you that hasn’t come to pass yet? Where is doubt and discouragement starting to creep into your life? Remind yourself today that no matter your circumstances, God’s promises always come to pass – in his holy way, in his perfect timing.
So remain strong and courageous – he is with you wherever you go; he is beside you in your waiting season.
Prayer: God, thank you for always keeping your promises to us, even when we are completely undeserving. Our faith is imperfect, but your faithfulness remains. I pray you’ll help us claim the promises you’ve made to us, and fill us with the strength and courage to claim them, live in them, and fight for them. Amen.