Strong and Courageous

Joshua heard the affirmation of God’s presence with him as he prepared to lead the Israelites into the promised land.  Yet God continued with his charge to the leader of his people, “Be strong and courageous for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them an inheritance.” (Joshua 1:6)  What a rally cry for the task ahead.  However, with the charge to be strong and courageous was also a very important requirement.  The charge to be strong and courageous was to be exercised in observing, or doing, carefully the complete instruction that Moses had commanded Joshua.  Joshua was not to turn away or become timid in obeying all that God had commanded to Joshua through His servant Moses.  In verse 8 there is clarification, “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it.  For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”  The connection for being strong and courageous was to do so by remaining in God’s Word, not passively, but intentionally.  The result of intentionally remaining in God’s Word would provide the way for success and prosperity in whatever Joshua would do.  The important factor for Joshua was to remain in God’s Word, by keeping it in continuous conversation as well as thinking on it, meditating on it all the time.  The scripture also called for Joshua to carefully do what what God commanded, simply said, that he must pay attention to the detail in obeying the Word, he could not take it for granted.
What does it mean for a believer today to be strong and courageous in the midst of dealing with COVID-19?  It isn’t a challenge like following God into the promised land.  But I do think for every believer it is a time to be more diligent in standing firm in God’s Word in order find success (God’s watch-care, provision, health, peace, and joy) in being strong in faith and courageous in obedience.  People who do not have a relationship with God through Jesus tend to be extremely anxious and fearful and certainly feel out of control.  Believers who are compromised in their relationship with God tend to look more to the world and find anxiety and fear rather than confidence and trust in God. The believer who is in right relationship with God has confidence in God’s control over all things, is strong in His truth, and courageous by His Spirit to face the unknown because God’s Word is the anchor of trust, the rock of confidence, and the banner of hope in the midst of the storm.  We do not have to live in fear, or be filled with anxiety about what we do know or what we do not know.  We can be strong and courageous in living each day because God is in control.  Remain intentionally in God’s Word, continually keep it in your conversation and think upon it day and night.  That is how you are strong and courageous in times like these!
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
Let us do His good will; He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
– John H. Sammis