by Katy Kauffman
There were three reasons why Joshua could have been dismayed by God’s call to be the next leader of Israel: over a million Israelites, hundreds of square miles to conquer, and fearsome enemies. His assignment was to lead the people across the Jordan River to possess the land which God had promised to give them. Joshua was supposed to fill Moses’ shoes as a spiritual leader of the people, a people who had stubbornly resisted Moses’ leadership and the leadership of God.
For the great task set before Joshua, God told him three times to be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua would need strength to overcome weakness, courage to overcome fear, and faith to overcome doubt.
Where would Joshua’s strength, courage, and faith come from? The LORD Himself. God reassured him, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5). God’s Word would also help Joshua to lead the people. Success would come from observing God’s law, which explains how to love God and one another. Joshua had the LORD and the Word to strengthen him for the journey ahead.
When our journey seems long or the task ahead seems difficult, we have God and His Word to keep us going. He says to us, “Be strong and of good courage. I am with you.” He renews our zeal and energizes our spirits for the work and ministry He calls us to. God gives us a special resource in Christ to do our assignment, a resource that the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, his son in the faith, to tap into.