Spies, adventure, the ark of the covenant! Sounds like just the sort of movie Harrison Ford would star in!

The book of Joshua starts out with more action than any movie can hold! God dries up the Jordan so the priests can carry the ark of the covenant across on dry land, a prostitute hides the spies on the roof and the men of Israel prepare for battle!

Four times in chapter 1 God exhorts, even commands the Israelites to be strong and courageous.

” 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 1:9

This is a favorite verse for many believers and is quoted often.

The greatest battle we frequently face is fear and discouragement.

Israel was heading into unknown land. They knew that God had promised it to them, but had no idea what the details of securing it would entail.

Would there be casualties on their side? Would their families be safe? How long will it take to battle the enemies before the land is theirs?

God did not address all the specifics. He just tells them to be strong and courageous and not to be discouraged because He will be with them.

Do we not struggle with the same thing?

We often can step out in faith trusting God with His lead until we begin to wonder how He will pull it all off?

What casualties might this faith involve? Loss of finances? Loss of loved ones? Change in everything that is familiar?

What uncertainties and personal sacrifices will being strong and courageous cost me?

If it wasn’t going to stretch me in some way, then I wouldn’t have to be strong and courageous! Nor would I have to fight off discouragement!

Just as God prepared Israel for what would lie ahead, He prepares us.

He doesn’t give us all the details nor let us know all of the obstacles as we follow His lead.

But He does promise this one thing.

He will be with us!

What is that thing today that you are afraid of? What is bringing you discouragement?

Be encouraged, just as He was with Israel, the Lord your God is with you!

He’s got this!

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