Devotional: April 1, 2020

The Bible as a Source of Courage, Part I

The Bible is such a powerful source of courage, so we want to encourage you to read it more. We know that God’s Word is a living Word, meaning it was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is the story of the Word made flesh—Jesus Christ, and meaning that it comes to life in our lives when we read and apply it through the power of the Spirit who helps us to have faith.

Right now, God wants us to have courage in the face of uncertainty. Don’t give in to panic. Don’t be afraid. Instead, walk with courage. And let the Bible be a handbook for the journey.

If it helps, you can download a good Bible app here: https://www.bible.com/app
Here is an important story from the Old Testament about how God provided for his people in a difficult time. The Israelites were struggling – Moses, their leader, had died and the people were far from home. They were tempted to give up, tempted to worship false gods, and grasping for some kind of consistency and familiarity.


Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, 2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5 No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 


Devotional Time

What can we learn about God’s faithfulness from this story?

  1. God keeps his promises. He promised to give the Israelites a home—the Promised Land. Now God would deliver them into it. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses.”
  2. God gives courage. Many of us have noticed over the last few days that our own personal stores of courage have expired, like a well that has run dry. This is totally understandable; and the world feels like a scary place right now. Therefore, the courage that God expects from his people is a courage that God gives.  “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  3. God gives instructions. God’s law is a blessing for his people; a design that will make our lives prosperous when we live according to God’s way. “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.”
  4. God protects His people. The Israelites faced enemies, even as we do. Some of the enemies were of flesh and blood; warring nations from neighboring places. Some of the enemies were of the spiritual kind; temptation, unrest, brokenness, and fear. God takes care of his people. “No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”

We can have courage in the face of adversity because the God of the Bible is the God who is with us, wherever we go!


Prayer

Almighty God, who delivered your people Israel out of slavery in Egypt, who raised your Son, Jesus Christ from the dead, deliver us now from fear and uncertainty, that we may have the courage to trust you, all the days of our lives. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.