“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV 1984).
My Musings – What I find interesting about this text is the inference that things will not always be easy. In fact, downright terrifying if we allow it. Why else would God tell us to “not be terrified,” and “not be discouraged?” His command cuts across the “grain.” Not only are we not to be terrified or discouraged, but we are to be “strong and courageous.” How is this possible? Because no matter how perilous the circumstances He “will be with [us] wherever [we] go.” Even through the “valley of the shadow of death.”
Jesus reinforced this sentiment when He said, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV 1984). He prefaced this “encouragement” with “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” (John 16:33, NIV 1984). Peace? Seriously? Yes, seriously. If we do not have “peace,” if we are not “strong and courageous,” it is because we are not taking Him seriously.
My Advice – Facing overwhelming circumstances? “Take Heart!” “God will be with you wherever you go.” He, in the person of Jesus Christ, has been there before, and He overcame. He would not tell us to “take heart” if we couldn’t overcome as well. We may not always overcome in a physical (temporal) sense, but we can always overcome in a spiritual (eternal) sense.