We have been told to be this and we have read it in the scriptures: be strong and of good courage. But what is it? What does it look like? What usually comes to mind is a person that will not step away in the face of dangerous circumstances and with strength and fortitude will keep from being moved. Have you tried to do this? Were you successful?
Many believers have tried this and were successful, but sadly to say, so many have tried and were unsuccessful. What is the difference between the two? Was one group more determined than the other? Did the successful love the Lord more than those who failed?
What we must understand is that Joshua was admonished to be strong and courageous, but his success was not going to be based on his amount of strength or determination. Joshua’s strength and courage was based on the promises of God.
Joshua 1:5 …I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
In this passage we see two aspects of God’s promise: he will not fail and he will not forsake. The words “to fail” are translated from the word which can also mean to slacken. Have you ever met someone who slacking off in their responsibilities? The person who slacks off fails to achieve all that is expected of them because they cease or are slothful with their duties. God promised Joshua that he would not act in that manner towards him. The term “forsake” means to loosen or leave. I like to think of it as giving up on something or someone. Maybe there was a time when you tried to help someone. You invested in them with great patience, but after some time you realized that nothing had changed. Things weren’t getting any better and whatever you did wasn’t making any difference. So you decided that you were done helping. What did you do? You cut yourself loose from them and left off helping.
God promised Joshua that there would never be a time that he would cut him loose. Joshua could count on God always remaining with him and never to depart. Why was Joshua so strong and so courageous? It was because he knew that God would not fail or forsake him. With that promise, he could stand against Jericho and with that promise he could be strong when he was required to pick up the pieces after the grave defeat at Ai.
The great news is that these promises are not just for Joshua. God promised you the same. You too can be strong and courageous by simply having faith in God’s promises.
Hebrews 13:5 …I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Romans 8:36-39 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.