“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
-God speaking to Joshua, in Joshua 1:9
Could Joshua Really Do This?
|image from: flickr.com|
Moses had died, and now Joshua was beginning his leadership of God’s people. But how do you follow Moses? Moses was a legend in his own time, and his legacy as an all-time great leader would only grow through the years. Joshua had to be at least a little afraid of failure, trying to stand in Moses’ shoes.
What’s more, how was Joshua supposed to lead the Israelites in taking the promised land? Joshua had always been a good military leader (that’s how we first meet him in Exodus 17:9), but conquering the stronger, entrenched nations of Canaan? There’s a reason the Israelites had been too scared to try about 40 years earlier.
Yet God’s command to Joshua is given repeatedly in Deuteronomy chapter 31 and Joshua chapter 1: Be strong and courageous!
How Do You Build Courage?
I have often thought about what a strange command this is. If I am afraid, how can I just “be courageous?!” How do I stop being afraid? Fears are real, and oftentimes they really do hold us back. It seems strange to just tell someone to stop being afraid and start being courageous.