Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and of a good courage…”
Joshua 1: 7, “ Only be thou strong and very courageous…”
Joshua 1: 9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage…”
Joshua 1: 18, “…only be strong and of a good courage.”
Have you ever heard the phrase “God only helps those who help themselves”? It irks me a little, because I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I disagree with the delivery.
Faith without works is dead, this is what the Bible says. So there is certainly some work that goes into to walking in the promised blessings of God, and yet the effort required has very little to do with your own strength or capability.
God’s expectation for our part in our blessings is simply to trust that He will carry us to it. Yet, God in His infinite wisdom understands that even that will take strength and courage that He readily provides.
In Joshua 1, God is instructing and encouraging Joshua to continue Moses’ work by bringing the children of God into the promised land. The language used here is so encouraging because God is purposefully reminding Joshua and the people of God of what He had already promised them, to prepare them for their imminent victory.
The outcome for this next battle had already been prophesied, it was Joshua’s job to lead the people into their success. How was he supposed to do that?
Joshua 1:8 says,
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is therein: for then thou shalt have good success”
God doesn’t help those who “help themselves”, He stands with those who are obedient to His Word. His Word being both the written Word of His Holy Bible and His Word to us individually in the form of His promises to us concerning our lives.
It is the confidence in the knowledge of who God is and what He has told us to do and be that gives us the strength to be courageous.
What does this look like in your life? How does faith, strength and courage manifest itself in your every day?
God calls for us to not just be hearers of the Word, but to be doers also. He tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We won’t know how to act in faith if we don’t know what God has instructed us to do, and the only way we’ll know what God’s instructions are, is by reading our Bibles, for ourselves. You won’t have confidence in knowledge that you don’t have. So in our everyday life this looks like, Proverbs 3: 5, 6:
"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all the ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths."
This means I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
When we are in the habit of talking to God, listening for His voice, and reading His Word, we are in a place where we can trust Him enough to be obedient to His will for our life. We can have courage when we act on God’s Word because we know that He is not a man that He should lie ( Numbers 23:19), His Word does not return unto Him void ( Isaiah 55:11) and He’s promised to never leave us to do His work alone (Hebrews 13:5).
The beauty of this is that His will for our lives often happens when we aren’t even aware. We usually look up and realize God’s hand has been at work the entire time. I’m sure you’ve experienced this before.
For me, I will be in the midst of a difficult situation and I’ll ask God to show me how to fix it or endure it. God will guide me as I search the scriptures for encouragement and instructions, while I continue to follow the path He's already made clear. Somewhere between my "I don't know" and my obedience to God, I find myself at the end with the unwavering knowledge that it was God who brought me here.
God gives us just enough information to trust Him and our trials are never more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
When you reason Joshua 1 you'll see that while they were in fact preparing for battle, they knew before they even began that they were going to win, that just had to be strong and of good courage.