Four times in Joshua 1, God says, “Be strong and courageous!”. Joshua was preparing to go into the Promised Land and he knew there were many battles ahead. And he had to lead the stubborn people of Israel into the midst of war. I’m sure fear was creeping into his heart. But God tells Joshua that He will be with him, and that he must have strength and courage.
Now whenever God says something, He has a reason for it. To say the same thing over and over again in one chapter must mean it’s pretty important. He’s telling us to be strong and courageous, no matter what we face. We have no idea what God’s plan is for us when we face mountains too high for us or battles too fierce. What we are called to do, however, in any tough situation is to trust Him. He will win our battles for us. That doesn’t mean we can sit back and watch. No, we have to go with Him and fight too; we’ll have to be strong, to stand our ground and let Him lead us, but He’s the One who will give us the victory.
The Israelites were often small in numbers and weak compared to their enemy, so that in the eyes of the world, there was no way they could win the battle. But I love how God would come into the picture and defy any human reasoning. He told them to have courage, to trust in Him and to go to war; God on their side made all the difference. And the Lord would go before them and they’d win! In their own strength, they could do nothing. But as they chose to go out in faith, God came to their rescue.
I love the times in the Bible where God uses the underdogs to do great things. Time and time again, God would choose, not the highly ranked and strong or the powerful and rich, but the small, insignificant people no one really thought of as great. But God took a hold of these people and turned them into mighty men and women for Him. It’s amazing how He uses the least of us all to do great things.
Just like the Israelites, God will fight for us. We just need to choose to take that step of faith, to be strong and courageous- not giving up, and holding onto Jesus- and great things could happen. We too often put God into our box of “possible”. God isn’t bound by who we are or where we are; He can take you as you are and use you, if you make the choice to let Him. You just need the strength and courage it takes to be a mighty man or woman of God.