A devotion based on Joshua 1:9
As pastors, directors, principals, teachers, teacher aides, secretaries etc., in our schools and congregations we have all had one of those tough school years, where life keeps happening and you wonder how much more you can can bear before reaching your breaking point.
Life events like:
- One of your teachers handing in their resignation a week before classes are about to begin.
- Perhaps your congregation has had a number of people stricken with cancer, or a family/school has been affected by the many natural disasters that have hit this country. More recently perhaps your school/congregation has been affected in some way by the terrible Vegas shooting incident.
- Perhaps your enrollment is so low, you wonder how, if at all, you will be able to keep all your staff employed.
- Perhaps a staff member’s wife/husband/child is terribly ill.
- That year where so many of your staff were getting sick and you didn’t have the resources to cover them and you just want to yell out, NO MORE!
The list can go on and on, as we all know.
God tells us that He will be with us wherever we go, sometimes when we are in the middle of all the drama that is going on around us, we tend to forget this.
In Joshua, God says:
9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Joshua was called by God to lead the Israelites out of the desert into the Promised Land. The Israelites had grumbled about their food, water, Moses’ leadership and many other things. The Israelites had also threatened to stone Joshua himself. Leading these people was a God-sized task.
Joshua took comfort in God’s words and knew and trusted that God would be with him, every step of the way as the Chosen People took possession of the land that God himself had promised them, so long ago.
Joshua took on the mantle of leadership with courage and resolved to do what the Lord had commanded and chosen him to do. Joshua could do this for he had a lifetime of watching God promising His people and delivering them on those promises. God had delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh and delivered them from the Egyptian army; God had parted the Red Sea and allowed His people to cross on dry land.
We too know that God keeps His promises to us. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ into this sinful world to pay for all our sins; Jesus Christ, carried the sin of all humanity to the cross and paid the ultimate price for our freedom. His righteousness is credited to our account. Our debt has been zeroed-out; it is gone, finished for all eternity, when on that 3rd day Jesus Christ rose from the dead, ensuring that sin, the devil and death are not to be feared for in Christ we have our victory.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)
Many of these types of events can be life changing and we go to God with our prayers and petitions, however, many times we don’t hand them over to God. In other words, we try to control what will happen next. Joshua teaches us to put our faith in God and let Him be in control.
In so many of these circumstances, after the dust dies down so to speak, we see how God has worked through even the toughest of circumstances. We are not always made aware of why certain things happen, but what we do know is that God will work things out according to His will. God asks us to trust Him in all things, not just the big things but in all things. Even when you don’t see it, the hand of God is all over any and all situations.
So, when we encounter trials of any shape or size, whatever it may be, we can have absolute confidence that God is at our side and ready to handle any and all situations; just as God was with Joshua, He is always with us in all things.
God is with us and always keeps His promises.
Heavenly Father, grant to me the spirit to think and always do those things that are right, that I, who cannot exist without you, may by your Spirit be enabled to live according to your will. Help me to remember that you created everyone and help me to love them the same way you do. Amen (author unknown)
Sheryl Grobelch, Director, Light of Christ Preschool, Irvine