– Joshua 1:9
Being Strong in God
The psalmist never depended upon his own strength. Rather, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him” (Psalm 28:7). This is why God commanded Joshua to be strong, not because Joshua was strong but that the Lord would be with him wherever he went, as He is with you if you’ve trusted in Christ.
Being Courageous in God
On the Day of Judgment, this verse will have abundantly more meaning: “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1). That’s because our sins were judged at the cross, but the unsaved still have the judgment of God ahead of them (Rev. 20:12-15). The psalmist could be of good courage because he could say, “… I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered” (Psalm 26:1). Even Jesus says, “… In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Destroying Terror Through God
For the children of God, He says to us, “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (Psalm 91:5-6), and “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you” (Psalm 91:7). That’s why God told Joshua, and by extension tells us, “Do not be terrified.”
Destroying Discouragement Through God
Discouragement is basically a lack of courage or a loss of courage, but we are told in the Scriptures to be of good courage, for it is God Who fights for us. If God’s for us, who or what could ever be against us (Rom. 8:31)? It is written, “You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you” (Deut. 3:22), but we could put it this way: “You shall not fear ‘anything or anyone’, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.” We can be encouraged by that fact.
Notice that Joshua 1:9 is not a request but a command: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go?” That’s something we must obey by trusting in God, for He is our strength, He gives us courage, He reassures us that we need not fear, and He fights for us, which should fight discouragement in us.