Are you ever tempted to worry or to be afraid? I’m sure that most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to that question. Though we may not be afraid of the dark, we may be fearful of what might happen tomorrow. It is for this reason that we must learn how to go to God with our fears and to find His strength and comfort.
In a moment when Joshua was being tempted to be afraid, the Lord gave him these words of encouragement – Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ESV
Why was Joshua afraid? There are at least two major reasons:
1) Joshua Was Facing an Enormous Task
Joshua 1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. ESV
For forty years Moses had been the leader of the children of Israel. Even to this day the Jews still revere him as being one of their greatest heroes. Now Moses is dead and Joshua has been chosen to fill his shoes. Yet the Lord reassured Joshua by saying, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5 ESV)
2) Joshua Was Facing Some Enormous Obstacles
Not only did Joshua have the enormous task of trying to lead the nation of Israel, his enormous task also contained some enormous obstacles. For one thing, there was the enormous obstacle of trying to lead people who were known as being -“stubborn and rebellious.” (see Ex 32:9) Secondly, the land they were to conquer contained giants. Forty years earlier, Joshua and the other spies saw these giants and they walked away saying – “Next to them we felt like grasshoppers…” (Num 13:33 NLT)
Life is filled with obstacles that have the ability to cause us to be afraid. Therefore we must keep fresh in our minds the words God said to Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Our God is greater than any problem we will ever face.