The opening of Joshua has some powerful statements and principles that can be applied to our lives as Christians. Moses had just passed away and Joshua is stepping into his place to be the Man of God to lead Israel.
In Joshua chapter 1, as God is giving Joshua instructions he tells him two times to “be strong and of a good courage” in verse 6 & 9 and then tells him in verse 7 to “be thou strong and very courageous.”
God encourage Moses with these phrases because Joshua was getting ready to step in to some pretty big shoes, to lead the nation of Israel and take them to war against those who seemed much mightier than they as they claimed the promised land. God also gave a few qualifiers that give these words of encouragement some backbone to them (besides the obvious fact they it came from God himself, which in itself would be enough) and I think each of them can be applied to us today as Christians.
- The Word of God (vs.8) – Joshua had the Word of God and he was to meditate therein day and night. As Christians, we have the completed Word of God. We need to study it, memorize it, learn it, read it and meditate on it day and night. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- The Presences of God (vs.5, 9) – Joshua had the comfort to know that the Lord was with him no matter where he went. As Christians, we have the comfort to know that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and He is with us know matter where we go. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
- The Promises of God (vs.3, 13) – Joshua and Israel are to remember the promises that God had made to them and to Moses and believe those promises to be true for them. As Christians, we can assure ourselves in the promises that God has made to us in His word and reckon all the promises of God to be true. (Hebrews 10:23)
- The Assurance of God (vs.5) – Joshua had the assurance of God that He wasn’t going to fail him nor forsake him. He didn’t have to worry about messing up or doing wrong and being forsaken by God. He didn’t have to worry about being in the middle of battle and God turning His back on him, he had the assurance of God. As Christians, we have the assurance of God and our salvation! We don’t have to worry about messing up an loosing our salvation and God turning His back on us. We have the assurance of once saved, always saved! (John 10:28-29; Hebrews 13:5)
So, just like Joshua was told to “be strong and of a good courage” because he had the word of God, the presence of God, the promises of God and the assurance of God, we as Christians have the same and can face our everyday lives and be comforted and encouraged with the words “be strong and of a good courage.”