Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD our God will be with you wherever you go.
God has demonstrated His faithfulness throughout the ages. He promised never to forsake His people. The Israelites, however, often forsook God. They worshipped graven images, made idols and hardened their hearts to God. The Lord continually reminded the Israelites to turn from their wicked ways and back to Him, but throughout their history they were rebellious time and time again.
How like the Israelites we are! We continue to worship Him with our lips but forsake His ways. We become self-absorbed, or the world absorbs our time and devotion. The Lord continually calls us back to Himself, reminding us that He will faithfully take us back. Think about your most faithful and trustworthy friend. Has he ever let you down? I have told my two sisters that even though my intentions are good, I will let them down from time to time. Proverbs 18:24 says that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus Christ is that friend – the perfect friend. He is always there, always faithful and trustworthy. In today’s passage, God told Joshua to be courageous because He would never leave him. Joshua was facing the challenge of his life, and God knew he needed a friend, someone who would help him face obstacles as he entered the Promised Land.
As you face a trial or obstacle, keep in mind that God is with you and will never let you down. Friends may break promises, but He is always true to His Word.
I have been so disappointed in friends. I fear letting anyone get too close. You called Your disciples friends and You demonstrated friendship with the greatest sacrifice of all – Your life. Help me to know You as my friend, the faithful One, and to be open to friendships with others.
In Jesus’ name, Amen