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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 09-01-2021

Read:  Joshua 1

As the people are finally ready to enter the promised land, God says to Joshua three times: “Be strong and courageous”  (verses 6, 7, 9).  Why?  Because the road ahead was not an easy one.

There are times in life when circumstances challenge us, wear on us, cause us to doubt, and even fill us with fear.  I’ve been around the block long enough to know that we all have those times in our life.  Ronda and I look back at a period of years we call the “Job years” when we:  experienced four miscarriages, had a serious car accident that required surgery and physical therapy, and faced ovarian cancer.  Challenging times cause people to prioritize and focus in life, to live thoughtfully and intentionally, and to rely on God.

As a nation we have certainly known such times in the Covid pandemic.  To date more than 4.5+ million have died worldwide; 656,000+ in the United States; 21,547+ in the state of Michigan.  And, it is not yet over.

Many of you will recognize this quote from Dr. Robert Schuller, the late T.V. preacher:  “Tough times never last, but tough people do”.  Schuller wrote a book by the same title.  There is much truth in Schuller’s words.

One of the things that it takes some Christians a while to figure out is that our Christian walk is a partnership with Christ.  It doesn’t all depend on us.  And, it doesn’t all depend on God.  God is encouraging Joshua and the people to be strong and courageous, there will be challenging times ahead, and they will need to do their part.  But God also promises to be with them, v. 5., and pledges not to fail them or forsake them.  I like the proverb that says, “Pray to God, but keep rowing to shore”.

It may not turn out the way we hoped it would or expected that it would, but I’ve walked with Christ long enough to trust the providence of God in life. Change is hard.  Transitions are challenging, still we are called on to have resolve; to be “strong and courageous”, and God will see us through.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom