Seasons on earth will always come and go. The Lord gave us four seasons, each full of it’s own power and presence as it changes the entire atmosphere around us. We love when spring warms our chilled bones, because it means that the dreaded cold is gone and new life is beginning to grow all around us. Summer brings out our “fun in the sun” days full of beaches, ice cream, tan lines, and burnt noses. Fall gives us a refreshing breath of crisp, cool air. Following the blazing bonfires and all things pumpkin, that terrible winter comes (let’s be honest, there about 2% of you that actually like winter). We feel like spring will never arrive again. But, let’s be real girls, how quickly can we forget the truth that spring will always come…?
Seasons are like God’s great promises for us in His Word. They are guaranteed. We know the Lord will be faithful even when the winter seems too long and harsh to withstand. There are plenty of stories in the Bible highlighting the ways God always comes through in just the right way, at just the right time, while His followers simply stand on His Word.
Joshua is a prime example of someone who trusts the Lord’s promise even when things look bleak. He and Caleb are the only two people who trust that the Lord will bring them into the Promise Land despite intimidating odds. It is no accident that the Lord then chooses him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua 1 tells us that God gave Joshua everything he needed through His Word to conquer Canaan. What’s neat is that these commands about God’s Word apply to us today!
God Commands Us To Be Strong and Courageous
With God’s promise came a charge to be strong and courageous. You can see this theme of strength throughout all of Scripture. I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes those words seem daunting. I feel as though I whine and complain most of the time. But if God has given us a promise, we can count on Him to give us the strength and courage needed to make it through as well. Strength and courage are exactly what Joshua needed to take over the Promised Land. Think of it this way: if God is telling you to do something bold, like witnessing to your lost friend at school, you already posses the strength and courage to do just that! The Lord always gives us exactly what we need to fulfill His promises for our lives. Can I get an Amen for that?!
God Commands Us To Obey Everything in His Word
Again, the Lord reminded Joshua of the promise that He had already given them the land. In verse 7 God guarantees, “[you] will be successful in everything you do.” But this comes only after He says, “Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them.” I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the opposition we’re facing or our inability to see what will happen that we forget to return to the basics of simply obeying God’s Word. We question the way things seem to be going in our lives. It’s in those times that the Lord is molding and shaping us, causing us to trust Him more and more. All we have to do is be obedient to His Word.
God Commands Us To Meditate on His Word
Meditating is a process that is hard for our fast-paced, instant-upload world to understand. To meditate means to think deeply or focus on something for a long time. When it comes to God’s Word, it doesn’t mean a quick 5-minute read, and then head off to the rest of your day. It takes time and attention. I think of it like a photo, and I don’t mean the “instant snap and upload from your phone” kind of photo. I mean the kind that old school people like me remember from before the early 90’s. You took the photo but actually had to wait for it to develop. Yes, I said wait. It took time to process, and similarly, it takes time to meditate on God’s Word. Sometimes that takes patience too. Ah, patience…a lesson for another day.
God Commands Us Not to Fear
What a powerful statement in verse 9 where God says, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” That verse states that God is literally with us through whatever comes in life. And when we trust that, it makes us turn to the only thing that is true: His Word. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” There was a time recently in my life where things got real messy, real fast. Have you ever had a time like that? Where you feel like you can’t make sense of anything that is happening to you? The only thing I could cling to was the fact that my God knew what was going on, and He was in control of it all. I learned to lean on His Word more than ever. And the best part was that He was with me every step of the way. I’ve never felt more loved and cherished by Him. Girls, trust that the Lord will come through, even when fear threatens to take over.
Some of you are in seasons of darkness, and you’re struggling to see the light. Winter seems like it will never end. Even still, we can stand on God’s commands to be strong and courageous, to obey God’s Word and meditate on it, and to resist fear. We can rely on these commands because He guarantees to make our way prosperous and successful while being with us wherever we go. It’s time to get out your copy of God’s Word and get to know it. Really know it. Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, and pray through it. Ask yourself, “How do God’s commands to Joshua apply to my life?” And then remember—God is faithful; He is guaranteed to come through for you because He says so in His beautiful, masterful, eternal Word.
Now if you want some serious education about Joshua, then do yourself a favor and go watch Josh and the Big Wall from Veggie Tales. You can thank me later.
Oh God, that we would have the courage and strength of Joshua in dark times where we cannot see. Help us to trust Your Word even when everything around us is a fight against it. Show us Your promises in Your unfailing Word that we may trust Your good and perfect plan for our lives. Teach us how to know Your Word with our whole heart, soul, and mind.
God’s Story in 66 Verses by Stan Guthrie
The Origin of the Bible edited