Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS

Joshua 1.9

God’s been showing me how much I rely on my own strength and strategies to do His will. It’s one thing for me to really sense God’s direction but it’s a whole other thing when I think I know where He’s leading me to go AND I know how to get there.

My ways are wearing me out, and the stress and strain of life and ministry are catching up with my husband. Let’s just say my journal and my Bible are damp with tears. And my heart is deeply convicted.

But, can I be honest? I’m also afraid. Afraid I won’t change. Afraid I don’t know how to change. 

Letting go leaves me feeling completely out of sorts. Yet I know God wants my best, which means He needs my obedience. He can only give me what I’m willing to receive.

Last week I started asking Him to teach me how to trust Him more, and I landed in the book of Joshua. There I found a brave and obedient man called by God into unfamiliar territory.  I’ve always thought Joshua was so naturally BRAVE. But this time I underlined how many times God told Joshua to BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS before Joshua even packed his bags.

Before Joshua accepted the job, God was giving Him a pep talk. And the only reason I can figure out why God would say the same thing three times, is because He must have known Joshua might forget what he needed to remember most. Or maybe He was saying it for me. Because gosh I need to hear it more than once:

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

Be STRONG and very COURAGEOUS. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9, NIV

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.