Joshua’s parting words near the end of his life
1901 illustration by Providence Lithograph Company
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
Today, I heard a message about God wanting you and I to be in His Kingdom as a member of His family. The message was particularly targeted to young people who have not yet been baptized, but it was mostly applicable to all ages. God wants us in His family, so the question is: Will we be in the Kingdom?
He listed five C words that are required: Calling, Conviction, Commitment, Conversion and the last was Courage. The older I get, the longer I walk this walk, then the more I understand just how much God’s way of life involves courage.
We often hear “fear not”, which is the negative way of rending “have courage”. Faith and fear mix like oil and water. We have courage because of our faith, and we have faith because of what God has done for us in the past.
I was sent just a little while ago an email about a church bombing in Pakistan. The worshippers there gave their lives doing what they believed. We take a lot for granted in this country. Are you really prepared and ready to not deny Christ even to the point of death?
No one required more courage than Jesus Christ Himself.
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
There is a lot packed into this passage. For one thing, notice how God never does anything in His dealings with humanity without a witness. We have no reason to doubt, seeing as witnesses are liberally left to attest to Him and His way.
Notice as well that Christ endured the cross how? “For the joy that was set before Him”. He looked forward, even as we are instructed to look forward. He looked back at where He came from even before His birth and realized where He was headed back to. He had the courage and confidence even to death because He was looking forward to not only being back with the Father but being with us! This should help us through any of our trials.