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Be Strong & Courageous

By Jon Mar
April 14, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HEREto read today’s passages.
Joshua 9:3-10:43
Luke 16:19-17:10
Psalm 83:1-18
Proverbs 13:4

Imagine starting a chapter of your life with God saying to you, “be strong and courageous”.  What thoughts or feelings would you have? At first, I would feel pretty happy that God is encouraging me, but then think about what I needed to be strong and courageous about.  Why is God telling me this as I start this next chapter? What is going to happen?

In Joshua 9, the Israelites had already defeated Jericho and Ai.  The Amorite kings did not want to be the next on the list, so they formed an alliance to attack Gibeon, which recently established a treaty with Israel.  As Joshua moved his whole army to defend Gibeon, “The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.’” (Joshua 9:8)  That confirmation from God sounded familiar, “be strong and courageous”, which God had said to Joshua in chapter 1 as he became the successor of Moses.

After Joshua defeated the armies at Gibeon, he saw God fulfilling His promise that no one could stand in their way.  Joshua took that momentum, had God stop the sun from setting, to pursue and defeat the rest of the armies. What faith Joshua had in the Lord to do this!  He was not just taking God at His word, but taking it into action. Before they went to take over the cities of the Amorite kings, Joshua said to his army, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.” (Joshua 9:25)  At this instance, we can see these words were not a simple encouragement to face difficulties. We see that these words God gave Joshua was a motto he was living his life by. “Be strong and courageous” was never meant to defend yourself for what’s coming, but attack and conquer with strength and courage!  They were claiming the promised land with the greatest weapon, God. 

If you’ve heard God speak words of encouragement to you, consider to not merely accept them in comfort and ease, but live those words out as a motto of life.  Reiterate them to others around you as Joshua did. God’s words are precious and to be shared. If you’re looking for words from Him, start with what He’s said to Joshua, “be strong and courageous” because He is our living Father that has even conquered death. 

In His Love,
Jon

To memorize:
“Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord —
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”
— Psalm 83:18