July 15, 2016

Be Strong and Courageous

Joshua 1:1-11

Be strong and courageous. . . . for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

—  Joshua 1:9

Not long ago I had an operation to have my gall bladder removed. Now, the Chinese word for gall bladder is dan, which also means “courage.” So after a gall bladder is removed, Chinese people often tease the patient about not having courage anymore.

With today’s health hazards, natural disasters, threats of war, and terrorism, it does take some courage to wake up and face a new day—with or without a gall bladder! Sometimes we face difficult situations that look so daunting we wish they were just bad dreams.

Joshua faced huge challenges and changes. He had just become the commander of the fickle Israelites. Joshua was to lead them into the promised land, not knowing what obstacles and dangers awaited. The Lord promised Joshua only one thing—that he would be with Joshua all the time. But there was one condition: the Lord would be with Joshua only if he obeyed the law of God and did “not turn from it to the right or to the left.”

What is testing your courage today?

Don’t be afraid. God was with Joshua at the Jordan; he was with Daniel’s friends in the ­fiery furnace (Daniel 3); and he promises us, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” as we “go and make disciples . . . teaching them to obey” God’s commands for full living (Matthew 28:19-20).

Thank you, Jesus, for your promise that you will abide in us, guiding us to abide in you. Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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