Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
God says, “Be strong.” What pops into your mind when you hear or read the word “strong”? Weightlifters, wrestlers, fighters, and soldiers? Rocks and stones? Steel? Inner strength is that something in the character of a person who
- stands in adversity,
- who acts and speaks up because it’s the right thing to do,
- who moves forward toward a goal of purpose regardless of the cost or obstacles,
- who endures through harsh and trying times and treatment.
When God told Joshua to “be strong,” it was an order, something Joshua was to do. God was commanding Joshua to strengthen himself, to encourage himself, to harden himself, and to behave valiantly. God was telling Joshua that he is to move out in battle and conquer the land on the other side of the Jordan River… whether he wants to or not, whether he feels like doing it or not, whether he thinks he can win or not. Joshua is not to be feeble, fragile, or frightened about this command. He is to be strong and move forward.
You and I have to do the same. When everything in you chafes or shies away from doing what must be done, endured, or finished, you have to stand up, buck up, look up, and just do it. You have to step up to the challenge, stare it in the face, and boldly step into it. Power, valor, and victory come as you draw upon God’s grace and obediently press on by faith.