“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It’s natural to have some fear or apprehension at the beginning of a new task. We may ask ourselves questions like “What if I don’t know what to do?” or “What if I’m not good enough?” Every time I stand up in front of a group of people to present something—whether it’s a sermon, a lecture, or a presentation of some kind—those questions run through my head and are accompanied by fear and doubt.
In our passage today Joshua had just been told that Moses, the leader of God’s people, was dead. And now God told Joshua that he would be the one to lead the people. What a huge task! We couldn’t blame Joshua for at least having a little fear. But God tells him to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or discouraged. And this encouragement is more than a pep talk. This is God’s promise to Joshua that wherever he goes in the new land that God would bring them into—and however hard the task before him would be—God would always be right there with him.
We face difficulties all the time—at work and school, and with our families and friends. We have many opportunities to be discouraged and afraid. But God’s promise to us is the same as it was to Joshua: God will be with us wherever we go.
And if God is with us, what do we have to fear?
Ever-present God, you promise to be with us wherever we go. Help us to remember this truth in the difficult tasks that lie ahead of us each day. Amen.