Have you ever faced a task so daunting you were unsure it would be possible to complete? Or have you been in such a difficult situation that you didn’t think you had the necessary resources to succeed? While none of us “is adequate for these things” (2 Cor. 2:16), we know that we should not cower before these tasks and situations. But how do we face these things with strength and courage? Here’s an answer to that question from the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible from the life of Joshua. Not only was Joshua replacing Moses, but he was also tasked with leading the Israelites in conquering the land of Canaan. Let’s see what we can learn from this excerpt.
How Can I Find Courage in Times of Adversity?
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 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.” -Joshua 1:6-9
In many ways, adversity is like boot camp; it is rigorous, painful, and challenging. Difficulties cause us to adopt new routines and habits; to mature in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being; and to grow in our relationship with the Lord.
During times of trial, we need to remain courageous and faithful. We also must stay steadfast in our devotion to the Lord as we battle feelings of doubt, fear, and limitation. He will provide the strength and hope not only to endure the hardship but also to make the changes that are required of us so we can claim the blessings of God.
Thankfully, we can trust Him to “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil 3:21)—to change us so we live a life honoring Him, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and face every hurdle with valor.
Joshua to Succeed Moses and Lead the Israelites
As a close associate of Moses, Joshua had grown in his faith and leadership abilities—he also knew all about adversity. Without question, the forty years of wandering in the wilderness had subjected him to physical, relational, spiritual, emotional, and mental hardships that helped him to understand the harsh realities of pain and suffering. Yet Joshua also knew that the Lord was with him and the nation of Israel. This assurance gave him all he needed to persevere, no matter how difficult the situation became.
When the time came for the people of God to cross the Jordan River and inhabit the Land of Promise, the Lord named Joshua as the leader to succeed Moses and admonished him about being courageous:
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them” (Josh 1:6).
“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you” (Josh 1:7).
“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” (Josh 1:9).
Note the three things that required Joshua to be brave: (1) making decisions that affected other people under his leadership; (2) keeping the laws and commandments, even as changes occurred; and (3) remembering continually that the Lord was with him, despite what circumstances might indicate to the contrary.
There will be times when each one of us needs courage in exactly the same three areas. The storms of life strike without warning, and we find ourselves crying out to God. We need His wisdom, hope, and assurance. And when we measure life’s challenges and trials against His mighty power, we gain the courage we need to proceed on to triumph because He has already won the eternal victory for us.
This study Bible is available in multiple translations, including two new versions!
NEWNIV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Ed.
NEWNASB Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Ed.
NKJV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Ed.
KJV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Ed.
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