Be strong and very courageous. Joshua 1:7
During our tour of an aircraft carrier, a jet fighter pilot explained that planes need a 56-kilometer-per-hour wind to take off on such a short runway. To reach this steady breeze, the captain turns his ship into the wind. “Shouldn’t the wind come from the plane’s back?” I asked. The pilot answered, “No. The jets must fly into the wind. That’s the only way to achieve lift.”
God called Joshua to lead His people into the “winds” that awaited them in the promised land. Joshua required two things. Internally, he needed to “be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:7); and externally, he needed challenges. This included the daily task of leading thousands of Israelites, facing walled cities (6:1–5), demoralizing defeats (7:3–5), Achan’s theft (vv. 16–26), and continual battles (chs. 10–11).
The wind that blew in Joshua’s face would lift his life as long as his thrust came from God’s instructions. God said he must “be careful to obey all the law . . . do not turn from it to the right or to the left . . . meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (1:7–8).
Are you resolved to follow God’s ways, no matter what? Then look for challenges. Fly boldly into the wind and see your spirit soar.
Why are challenges necessary for a successful life? How might God use a present problem to lift you?
Father, life is hard, and it often hurts. May my problems lift me closer to You.
A repeated theme in the Bible is the centrality of the Scriptures in the lives of people of faith (see Psalm 1:1–3). In Joshua 1, this crucial principle was stressed when leadership changed from Moses to Joshua. David spoke similar words to Solomon who succeeded him as king: “Observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (1 Kings 2:3).