“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:7-8
Joshua’s courage came from God’s presence. We are not alone, look at the promises of God to be with us —>
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23)
In what sense is God WITH us? Second, He participates with us. It’s one thing to have someone present with us, but far better to know that he will actually participate with us through all life brings. His continual participation with us provides unquenchable hope.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful…. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 10:23; 11:1)
In Christian teaching, hope is inseparably linked with faith in God. It is faith that sustains the certainty that our hope will be fulfilled and allows us to hold onto hope tenaciously, even when its realization is delayed. Trust in God allows us to believe that while hope may be deferred, it will not be denied.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
As creatures of comfort, we are always trying to get out from under the pressure that difficulty brings. The blessing God brings, however, he brings to those who remain under the trials he sends. He desires that we remain under the difficulty until it succeeds in the matter for which he sent it.
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:4)
Our initial response of welcoming difficult circumstances is challenged by the fact that they linger. Welcoming them in does not send them away. Lasting joy comes when we see the result of putting up with them long enough for God to use them to produce his desired effect in us.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Ps 46:7, 11)
God is the Commander-in-Chief of the angel armies. He is also Emmanuel, the God with us. We find in him an impenetrable fortress of protection in the midst of change. This is the psalm upon which Martin Luther based A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. (Ps 46:4-6)
In the midst of change, God sustains us with a river of grace. Kingdoms may fall around us—a reference to the demise of political regimes—mountains may fall, but God’s people will not fall.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Ps 46:1-3).
In the midst of the most earth-shattering changes, God is an ever present source of stability and strength. Mountains—a symbol of strength and stability—may fall, but God will sustain us so we do not fall.