Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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Bold As A Lion
This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or
discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (v.9)
William Seeker, a 17th-century clergyman, is
quoted as saying, “Another singular action of
a sanctified Christian is to prefer the duty he
owes God to the danger he fears from man. Christians
in all ages have prized their services above their safety.
‘The wicked flee when no man [is pursuing]; but the
righteous are bold as a lion.’ ”
After Moses’ death, God prepared Joshua to be as
bold as a lion so he could lead the Israelites across the
Jordan River and into the promised land of Canaan
(Joshua 1:1-9). God knew many risks, difficulties, and
oppositions (within and without) lay ahead of His chosen
leader and His chosen people. So Joshua would need to
act bravely during the difficult days and to do dangerous
things out of obedience to God.
In a span of several verses, God used powerful words
to build courage into Joshua’s heart: “Wherever you set
foot, you will be on land I have given you” (v.3); “No
one will be able to stand against you” (v.5); “I will be
with you . . . I will not fail you or abandon you” (v.5);
“Be strong and courageous” (v.6); “The Lord your God is
with you wherever you go” (v.9).
What was Joshua’s response to God’s promise of His
abiding presence and blessing? He chose to follow
diligently God’s words and to believe that He would
strengthen, guard, and protect him (vv.10-11).
As believers in Jesus, we’re called to do things that can be difficult (talking to
our neighbors about Jesus), risky (ministering to the marginalized), and
even potentially dangerous (taking the gospel to unreached people groups)
out of obedience to God. As God promised Joshua, He has promised to be
with us (Hebrews 13:5). Let’s boldly obey His Word and declare His truth.
Just as He did with
Joshua, God gave
encouraging words to
King Jehoshaphat. Read
2 Chronicles 20:15.
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