“I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” (Joshua 1:9, NET Bible)
Sometimes our lives are fraught with danger. God leads us into strange lands on treacherous missions. The odds are stacked high against us. There is absolutely no way on earth we can possibly accomplish these daunting tasks. God seems to be completely out of His mind. Well, like it or not, it is times such as these for which we are saved. And it is at times such as these that we can open our Bibles and read about Esther and Joshua and other great saints of the faith. We can read the very words of God that were meant for us as much as for Joshua, “I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” It’s one of the perks of membership.
How cool is that? When I am sleeping; God is with me. When I wake up; God is there. As I go about my day; God goes with me. As I return home; God returns, too. That is some really Good News. It even reminds me of something Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus is telling us is that we can rely totally upon God because He is with us.
And that brings us to the real point of today’s passage. We can be strong and we can be brave even in the face of the most dire circumstances (or seemingly so to us). It doesn’t matter what that circumstance is either. If your challenge is to share your faith with others and that scares the bageebers out of you, then remember, God is with you. If your challenge is to preach in front of a stadium full of people instead of those fifty people you normally see on a Sunday morning, well, God is with you. If God is prompting you to just step outside of your house and that is a huge step of faith for you, I want you to know that there is not a shadow of doubt that God is right there with you. Be strong and be brave. “Don’t be afraid and don’t panic…”
What is God telling you to do today? It might be a tug at your heart to pray for some one. It might be a gentle urge to begin a Bible study in your home. Maybe you have been contemplating a volunteer position at a local Food Pantry or helping out at the down town Rescue Mission. What about that ministry you’ve been batting around for the last couple of years? What’s to stop you from getting the ball rolling on that? You might be saying to yourself right now, “But what if I fail!?” You cannot fail. Not if you are faithful to God and do you best to accomplish what He has placed on your heart. God doesn’t expect you to be successful. He expects you to be faithful. That’s what it’s all about.
"Lord, grant us the courage to step out in faith in whatever you are calling us to do. May You be glorified by our faithfulness to Your perfect will,AMEN."
As my pastor likes to say, “Go for it!”
Christopher Randolph holds a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He currently lives with his family in Colorado.