The other day I shared 13 Things God Told Joshua. I wanted to expand on one of the thoughts as I know it is something we all struggle with at times. Fear. In verse 9 of chapter 1, God tells Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It was easy for God to say this, but think about Joshua for a second. Are you kidding me? Don’t be afraid? What are you talking about God? I am terrified! At least that would be my response. Not only was Joshua now the leader of the God’s people, but he was now responsible for taking this group of people into a land they don’t know much about. Yes, Joshua was one who went into the land with the other spies and brought back a positive report, but let’s be honest, Joshua’s role now was a lot different then when he was Moses’s assistant.
Fear affects all of us. It manifests itself in various ways and it usually involves torment. According to phobialist.com, there are 530 known phobias. Fear is defined as: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, like to cause pain, or a threat. God knew exactly what the Israelites were about to face. As I ponder this story, I wonder what the conversation between God and Joshua was like? Was all fear eradicated as soon as God spoke? Did it disappear as soon as Joshua stepped out in faith or was there still a tinge of fear? We may never know fully, but one thing we do know is that Joshua was obedient to lead the people of God into the promised land.
Fear has a way of changing us, causing us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. It is interesting to note that fear is mentioned in the Bible 411 different times. God wants us to be free from fear. He understands us. He knows what we struggle with, the fears that keep us in bondage. He is a good God who wants nothing more for us than to be free from all our fears. One of the greatest reasons why we struggle with fear I believe is because we do not have a correct view of Him. We do not always know His proximity to us, His concern for us, nor do we fully know His power to free us from all our fears. The Bible says, “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) God is love, therefore, it is He who will dispel fear in our lives. You can trust Him, just as Joshua did. Joshua took Gods word to him literally. He hid the words of his God in his heart and he led the people to the Promised land. Remember His word to you, “I will be with you wherever you go.”