No one will 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 never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 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 1:5-9)
We’re in a series exploring three biblical truths that give us the courage to create and work boldly in the midst of uncertain times. This morning, at the beginning of this New Year, we look at our third and final truth: The Lord is always with us.
Throughout the Old Testament, the command to “be strong and courageous” is issued again and again. In today’s passage, the Lord commands it three times in just five verses! Clearly, this is something God wants us to pay attention to.
But here’s what I believe is most important for us to see. The command to “be strong and courageous” is almost always connected to the promise of the Lord’s constant presence. Joshua 1:9 is a good example: “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Before 2021 takes off, take just a moment to meditate on that: The Creator God is with you wherever you go, including at work.
What does that truth mean for our work? In Ephesians 3:20, Paul says that because of “[God’s] power that is at work within us,” he is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a writer, a teacher, a stay-at-home-mom, or a designer, you have an unfair advantage. You have the God who is “able to do immeasurably more” than you can imagine within you.
Do your goals reflect that truth? Do your prayers for your work in this New Year show that you believe what Scripture says in these passages?
In these uncertain times, may we be the people in our communities who have the courage to create and take big swings this year. Why? Because as we saw two weeks ago, God is working all things for our ultimate good. As we saw last week, we are made in the image of a God who risks. And as we’ve seen this morning, we can “be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
What might it look like for you to create courageously in 2021? I’d encourage you to prayerfully consider your answer to that question today.