Be Strong and Courageous: Lessons for Joshua


Have you ever been so scared or afraid that you literally felt paralyzed or simply wanted to run away in fear? Maybe you’ve been overwhelmed by a daunting task or an unbearable circumstance? Did something seem like an impossible situation or a road with too many challenges to even travel down?

There are times in life when fear is present and the simple uncertainty about something makes it to where you don’t even want to think about facing the impossible. Some challenges are trivial while others are life altering. The truth is, when you face difficulties, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or fearful and to lose sight of God. So, when you find yourself in this place, what do you do? Who do you turn to? Where do you find strength?

Go to the book of Joshua to see what you can learn from the circumstances Joshua found himself in and the commands God gave him.

Get the picture… Israel had wondered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their unbelief. Moses had faithfully shepherded the people but his days had come to an end. Now, Joshua was to assume the task of taking people into the Promised Land. The days ahead would be full of tiresome battles and all-out war.

Would it be safe to say that those circumstances might strike fear and terror in a person? Yet, on the brink of battle, God spoke to this young man and gave him divine encouragement and specific commands as he stepped into this position of leadership.

Inductive Bible Study

 Take a minute and read through Joshua 1:6-9. See if you notice any repeated phrases.

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Did you pick up on a repeated phrase that God told Joshua? “Be strong and courageous!” God commanded that Joshua have strength and courage as he led the people into the land to fight in battle. Why or how was this young man able to be strong and courageous? (Hint: it’s found in the verses we just read.)

Look again at Joshua 1:6-9, this time read through it looking for the answer to why or how strength and courage could be possible. (Tip: “For” and “so that” are often terms that help answer the “why” or in scripture.)

What did you discover to be the answer?

When it came down to it, Joshua was able take courage and not be afraid because of

  1. the promises that God had spoken
  2. and the knowledge of God’s character.

God told him that He swore to give Israel the land as a possession (v.6). God also promised Joshua that He would be with him WHEREVER he went (v.9). Right there, that would be enough to have strength and courage to do whatever God had instructed him to do.

What about you? Can you have the same reassurance and confidence in the Lord?

As you study the Bible, you will discover that God has made promises that He will bring to pass. You can rest with certainty that He will perform what He has spoken in scripture. Not only that, if you believe, you are given His Holy Spirit who gives you power to be a witness and leads you in the way you should go. The Lord Himself dwells within believers giving you the ability to take courage and be strong no matter the situation you are facing. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deut. 31:8).joshua 2

Last thing to note from these few verses, is that God commanded Joshua to be careful to obey all that He had spoken, not turning to the right or the left (v.7). He commanded him to mediate on the book of the law day and night (v.8). Upon Joshua’s willingness to believe and obey, success would be given. God promised to take care of Joshua and to protect him in the midst of the battle. Joshua simply needed to trust God’s promises, obey His Words, and hold fast to God Himself! The same is true of you … So be strong and courageous knowing that God is with you wherever you go! 


If you’ve been around Transform Student Ministries the past couple of years, you’ve probably met Carlotta! Carlotta has been aconference/camp staffer, office volunteer, summer intern, teacher/mentor, and recently came on staff full-time as Transform’s Special Programs Coordinator  Carlotta’s love for the Lord is contagious, and being around her makes you want to know more about her Savior.


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