Faith in the unknown
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Many of us have heard the phrase “be strong and courageous” many times in our lives. But for Joshua this wasn’t just a phrase, but it was going to be a significant attribute of his developing character. Before Moses died, he spoke this phrase to Joshua twice. After Moses’ death when Joshua became Israel’s leader, God repeated these words to him three times. Joshua did not know the challenges that were to come. He didn’t know how or when all the promises God had would come to pass. God had given him all the instructions he needed but the future still seemed uncertain. Joshua was about to face the unknown.
Ed Rowell in his sermon, “Mary – A Song of Trust,” said these words, “Those things we have never seen or experienced can seem overwhelming. On the old maps, back before the world was understood in modern terms, cartographers, map makers, would put down what they knew, but at the edges of the map, beyond which they had no knowledge or understanding, they would often write, “Beyond here, there be dragons.”
Now Joshua wasn’t going to face dragons, but he was going to face overwhelming challenges that he could not foresee. I could imagine Joshua was uncertain of his ability to accomplish the big task that was set before him. That’s why God had placed these words, “Be strong and courageous” in his heart. God knows the exact words you need to endure the unknown. Jesus mentions these words to his disciples knowing that they too were going to face the unknown, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27 ESV). God’s words to us strengthen our trust and faith in Him.
You may be facing some unknown circumstances or will in the near future. Here are simple steps from God’s instructions to Joshua that will help you “be strong and courageous.”
- Acknowledge that God is with you. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5 NIV).
- Be obedient to God’s Word. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7 NIV).
- Remember God’s Word in all circumstances.“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV).
- Be strong in your faith and courageous in your love towards God.“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lordyour God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
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