Open Your Bible
Joshua 1:1-18, Joshua 23:1-16, Deuteronomy 31:6-8
BY Guest Writer
All the facts told me I could not be brave. I was twenty weeks pregnant, my unborn child had been given a fatal diagnosis, and I wanted to run away. I didn’t think I could answer God’s call to carry a baby full-term if that baby would not be mine to keep. I looked at the journey before me and the assignment God had given to me, and thought, “There is no way I can do this. I’m not strong enough.”
Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever lost sleep over the fear of a circumstance? Have you ever been afraid that God might ask you to do something you cannot do?
I believe that God wants to redeem our worries, and we would do well to learn from the story of Joshua. God had a very important assignment for Joshua. Moses was about to die, and it was time for the Israelites to finally stop their desert wandering to find a permanent home in the promised land. God wanted Joshua to lead them into their first battle at Jericho. He said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Joshua’s task was scary (think war and death), victory looked improbable (think impenetrable fortified city), and a whole nation hung in the balance (think no room for doubt). God knew all of this, and yet what did He say to Joshua? No matter what lies before you, “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6).
How could God ask this of Joshua? How could God ask me to be brave and carry a child I knew would pass away?
It’s because of this:
The Lord will never leave us (Joshua 1:9). We might not know the twists and turns of the journey before us. But we can stand confidently, knowing the Lord will never ever leave our side.
It is the Lord God who fights for us (Joshua 23:3). God does the fighting! Joshua’s strength, my courage, your bravery—these do not come from within ourselves. No! They come from the Holy Spirit, and His power has no limits.
The Lord our God is worthy of our love and devotion (Joshua 23:9–11). God gave Joshua and his people many commands, but He gave clear emphasis to this one in particular. Jesus gives us a similar command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). This is the call we’ve been given, and if our eyes are on the one who calls us, then no matter what life throws at us or what impenetrable circumstance lies ahead, we will be okay.
I named my son Gideon. And during those 90 minutes he lived in my arms, God proved all of His promises to be true. Our God will never leave us. He will always fight for us. And He delights in our love for Him.
Maria Furlough is a wife and a mother to one amazing 11-year-old daughter, three rambunctious boys, and one baby boy who lives in the arms of Jesus. Formerly a full-time youth pastor, Maria now teaches women’s Bible studies and works as the Missions Team leader at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. Maria is the author of Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for You Anxious Heart and Confident Moms, Confident Daughters. You can find Maria on Instagram or Facebook @MariaFurlough or online at www.mariafurlough.com.