Life gets tough sometimes, but a favorite verse reminds me that we are to be courageous and not be afraid because God is with us. Let’s put this Scripture in context. Moses had just died and the Lord commissioned Joshua to lead His people. He reminds Joshua of all He promised, and that the Lord would be with him. “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
And then the Lord told Joshua what to do to succeed, which we discussed yesterday. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8) The Lord wants us to treasure Him, His Word, and to joyfully anticipate His plan for our lives: to become a reflection of His image.
The Lord reminds Joshua of what He required of Him, how to succeed, and to move forward with courage because the Lord will always be with Him. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) He is always with us as well!
Fear is one of Satan’s most popular weapons that he uses against us. The most common lie that Satan uses to instill fear into us is that God is far away or absent from our presence. First, remember that the devil is a liar! The presence of bad times is usually the greatest persuasion of God’s absence; but remember that in various times in the Bible, God was there even in the midst of war, famine, flood, and storms. God is with us always and promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
In Isaiah we read, “But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior’” (Isaiah 43:1-3a)
God is with us, leading us, guiding us, loving us, providing for us — all with His unlimited resources — wherever we are and wherever we go! God is not far off; He’s goes before us and behind us — He surrounds us with His love, protection, and His very presence! “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me.” (Ps. 139:5)