Dear fellow disciple-maker,
We have all been there. We have all been depressed, discouraged, and filled with doubts. The circumstances that brought us to that point vary from person to person, but the emotional feeling of being "down" is universal. We all understand what it means to be afraid and experience loneliness because we assume that no one understands what we are facing.
I wonder if Joshua may have felt that way right after Moses died. In the opening verses of the book of Joshua, the Lord says, Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites (Joshua 1:2).
It is in this context that the Lord gave Joshua the ultimate promise: As I
was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you….do
not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you
wherever you go (Joshua 1:5,9). The ultimate promise that God made to Joshua
he also makes to followers of Jesus today.
This is a personal promise. To receive such a promise from the Lord undoubtedly encouraged Joshua as he considered the shoes he was asked to fill. He knew that his success would not be based on his leadership, his wisdom or his competence. Rather, it would depend upon the unfailing presence of the Lord himself. With this promise Joshua knew that he could face his enemies. If God was with him, who could be against him? Joshua knew that God would supply his physical needs. And most of all, Joshua knew that God would stand by him when others would fail him or turn against him.
Trouble is Assumed
This is also a promise that assumes trouble. The promise of God's presence does not exclude or eliminate the possibility of testing, suffering or disaster. It does not preclude the need for our own strength and perseverance. Jesus told his disciples that in the world they would have trouble. God has not promised to take any of us to heaven without trying our faith.
A Gospel Bible Promise
Finally, this is an unchanging promise. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus conquered death and has promised to be with us always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Whatever you are facing right now, you are not alone. God always keeps his promises. Be reassured today that God is with you. He sees your situation. He hears your prayers. He understands your problems. He is with you. His presence is giving you the strength to carry on. We don’t have to have all the answers because he is more than capable and fully faithful.
Every child of God has a covenant relationship with God that is based on Christ's blood shed for us, Christ's Spirit living in us, and Christ's promise to never leave us. 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).
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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