Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Joshua was the new leader of the Israelites. He was a bit unsure how things were going to go from this point forward for the Israelites. In the midst of this uncertainty, God spoke to Joshua. As God spoke to Joshua then, I believe God also wants to speak to us now.
“Have I not commanded you?” — God had put Joshua in his leadership position and God was leading him and would lead him. Before the coronavirus outbreak, wasn’t God leading us? Well, guess what? God still is leading us and guiding us — that has not changed one bit!
“Be strong and courageous.” — In his uncertainty of his leadership and the overall future of the Israelite people, God encouraged Joshua to be strong and courageous. Our present times certainly are uncertain: doing whatever we can to help contain a virus that has spread across the world. Yet, in the midst of this uncertain future, God encourages us to be strong and courageous and with His help, we can do just that!
“Do not be frightened” — God knew that this was a normal response to Joshua’s situation, but God encouraged an opposite response. Instead of being frightened, God instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous. It is normal, in the midst of this coronavirus, to be frightened, but God encourages us to respond differently — to be strong and courageous. The people of the world need to see Christ’s followers not shuddering in fright, but resting in God with His strength and courage.
“and do not be dismayed” — This is another normal response, but being dismayed over a long period of time can lead to deep depression, which leads to a whole host of other physical and emotional concerns. So, again God encourages the opposite response—instead of being dismayed and losing hope, be strong and courageous. We can battle dismay with God’s strength and courage!
“for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” — Here is further reasoning for our strength and courage: God is with us wherever we go. Where are we going right now? We don’t necessarily know, with all of what is going on with the spread of the coronavirus. What we do know is that, no matter what happens, our God is with us. That can be and should be enough for us to face this uncertain future with the strength and the courage that God commands.
So, how about it? Shall we face COVID-19 with JOSHUA 1:9? Shall we deal with fright and dismay with the strength and courage that God prescribes? Shall we face an uncertain future, knowing that God is with us no matter what? Yes, yes, and yes — we indeed shall! Amen!
(REV EDROY CURTIS)