Opportunity, Challenge, and Confidence

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 (ESV)

Recently my Pastor began a new series in the book of Joshua. It has been a long time since I sat down and looked closely at the amazing position Joshua had inherited from Moses. Specifically, his new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange land and conquering it.

Wow! What a challenge that was placed upon the shoulders of Joshua. But Joshua was not alone in facing this challenge. God had assured him that He would be with him through thick and thin, good and bad, happy and sad. When the people grumbled and stumbled, God would be there. When things looked bleak, God would be there. When Joshua had not clue what he should do, God would be there. “I will not leave you or forsake you.”

Every new thing we face in life comes with challenges. Granted some are easier than others but nevertheless newness brings challenge. Without God it can be frightening. With God it can be a great adventure. Just as God was with Joshua He is with us when challenges come. He is holding us up, pointing us in the right direction, and helping us step out in confidence.

Granted we are not conquering nations like Joshua but we do face many tough situations, difficult people, and never ending temptations. But God promises, “I will not leave you or forsake you.” Or in other words, He promises that he will never abandon us or fail to help us. We only have to ask for help and accept what he offers. By asking God for direction we can conquer many of life’s challenges.

God has put each one of us on a mission. Our mission consists of challenges and situations that will cause discouragement and dismay along the path God has laid before us. We can find fortification in the assurance of God’s abiding presence as we journey on the way.

The words of the second verse of the old hymn “How Firm a Foundation” say it well

"Fear not! I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. 
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

Opportunity produces challenge. Challenge produces confidence. Confidence comes from  remembering Gods promises from His word.

“Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

 

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