My church just wrapped up a series on the book of Joshua, and it has been so impactful to me that I wanted to share my notes here so that I can look back on them, and hopefully they might inspire you, as well! The story of Joshua is one of unshakeable courage, of extreme trust, and of strong faith – one I’ve heard as Bible stories in bits and pieces, but I’ve never studied the entire book beginning to end. So let’s begin with Joshua 1!
How do I get unshakeable courage?
Why do I need unshakeable courage?
Where does unshakeable courage come from?
“How will I navigate my fears and anxieties?”
What’s going on in Joshua?
Who: Joshua literally means “Yahweh saves”
He was a military leader (Exodus 17), spiritual leader (Numbers 27:18), and chosen leader (Deuteronomy 31:1-8)
What: Exodus – Sinai – Wandering (the chapters of Exodus – Deuteronomy)
Where: “And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said.” (Deuteronomy 34:5)
When: Exodus – Deuteronomy (1400-1200 BC)
Why: The book of Joshua describes Yahweh’s giving His people the land He had promised, and to instruct generations of Israel to trust and obey Yahweh, who is a faithful covenant maker and covenant keeper.
1. How do I get unshakeable courage?
- Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people… (v. 6)
- Be strong and very courageous… (v. 7)
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid… (v. 9)
- Only be strong and courageous! (v. 18)
When the Lord repeats Himself that many times, it must be important, but why does Joshua need to be told to be strong and courageous? He had already proved his courage to the Lord through many different acts of faith. — But Moses was the leader, the legend, and when Moses died, Joshua was called on.
The self-help industry tells us we are to look inside ourselves for strength and courage. But what are we supposed to find inside us that magically gives us the unshakeable courage of Joshua? I can honestly say I’ve never found it by looking inside myself. In Exodus 3:11-12, we see God telling Moses that he will deliver the children of God from Egypt. Moses says back to Him, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God doesn’t tell him to look inside himself or to work harder or to reflect or anything at all. He says “But I will be with you…” Our unshakeable courage comes from nothing we can produce on our own, but completely from the presence of the Lord with us.
“It’s not the strength of your faith, but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.” – Tim Keller
2. Why do I need unshakeable courage?
V. 7-8: “… that you will be successful wherever you go… then you will be prosperous and successful…” He doesn’t mean financial success or that we’ll get our dream jobs, but that we will live a prosperous life for His glory.
3. Where does unshakeable faith come from?
Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us this:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
So all in all, to get the unshakeable faith that Joshua had, there is nothing we can do on our own. We cannot manifest courage or pull it from somewhere deep inside ourselves. We cannot will ourselves to be courageous or think courageous thoughts and get there. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus, the same faithful covenant maker and covenant keeper that Joshua followed, we will be filled with unshakeable courage, as well.