Challenges come often and at various times. It is how we face the challenges as people of faith that determine our future. The Bible says a lot about how to face challenges that life brings and we find in Joshua 1 some great insights and paths to follow.
This week millions are exploring the Bible as they begin a study of Joshua, who led the freed nation of Israel out of the desert and back into the land promised to them before their enslavement in Egypt. Joshua was faithful to the Lord, even though most of his generation (except Caleb) were not. Now he was leading their children and grandchildren into a future filled with adventure, challenges, opportunities, as well as promises from God for His abiding care.
Here are a few thoughts:
- Challenges can inspire you. Many times challenges seem insurmountable. Israel failed to meet the challenge of going into the promised land soon after fleeing Egypt. While everyone caved into fear and said it couldn’t be done… he said it could! As you remember the majority ruled that day and so for the next 40 years the people of Israel migrated throughout the Arabian desert. Joshua continued to draw inspiration from the promise of God and prepared for the day when the challenge would come again.
- Challenges often come when life seems the darkest. Joshua’s friend and leader Moses had died. Imagine for a moment following a man of God like Moses. And now he is dead. It was in the darkness of that grief that God spoke to Joshua and instructed him to face the challenges of leading the people. And that he did!
- Challenges are not faced alone. In these opening verses of Joshua 1, God reminds him that He will be present. The Incarcerate Christ stated that the same in Matthew 28:20 when He reminds that He “will be with us always.”
- Challenges develop character. The key phrase “be strong and courageous” is repeated several times in this passage. God equips us to face the challenges that life brings and we can be confident that our character will grow as we follow Him.
- Challenges should be faced with Scripture. The Word of God will lead us as we read, study, memorize and meditate on it. Discover what His Word is saying to you about your challenges.
Remember the past, live in the present and face the future. Be strong! Be courageous! Rely and rest on the Word of God. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you make willful decisions knowing that you are determining your path. Know that if you face challenges apart from the guidance of the Spirit of God that you may end up wandering in the desert when you could have been walking with Him in the land of promise.