by Stephen F. Olford
Text: "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9; read vv. 1-9).
Thoughts: In the first chapter of Joshua, we find God meeting His young servant at a point of crisis with a message of encouragement and challenge. Joshua was called to face the future with:
The Purpose of God. "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan" (v. 2). Moses was dead, and Joshua was called to assume the immense responsibility of leading the people into Canaan. Have you and I discovered that divine purpose for our lives? Until we do, we will never realize true fulfillment in our lives.
The Promise of God. "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you" (v. 3). God's promises never fail, and Joshua rested his entire faith upon them. He not only believed God's promises, but he was ready to possess the promised possessions! Paul reminds us that "all the promises of God in [Christ] are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us" (2 Cor. 1:20).
The Power of God. "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you" (v. 5). The overthrow of Jericho was the first test that Joshua had to face upon entering the land of Canaan. Humanly speaking, they did not stand a chance against the fully-armed city, yet it was leveled. We can know this same power in our own Christian experience today.
The Presence of God. "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (v. 9). That presence mediated to Joshua is the same presence mediated to us in Christ through the Word of God and by the Spirit of God. Let us face each day as Joshua did: with God's purpose, promise, power, and presence.
Lord of pow'r and of grace,
All my weakness, please replace -
As Your plan I now pursue,
Resting on Your promise true;
I shall reach the "Promised Land,"
Led by Your almighty Hand. Amen.