Joshua could have been overwhelmed with fear; this was a HUGE undertaking! God, in His sovereignty, knew this would be hard for Joshua. His mentor and leader, Moses, had passed away. Now, the burden of leadership rested on him. On numerous occasions, God very clearly encourages him.
Joshua 1:5b-6, 9 God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you… be strong and courageous, because you will lead those people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Fear happens… we are human! But how do we deal with fear?
God promised Joshua he would be with him wherever he went and we can be sure that He is with us through our hard stuff, too!
Isaiah 43:1b-3- “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (be sure and check out the song, "The Storm", which was written from this pasage)
Again, how do we deal with fear? We start by recognizing our fears, then submitting them to God. Are we trying to deal with the things that make us fearful in our own strength? Or are we resting in God’s strength and recognizing that He alone can bring peace? The more we think about the “what ifs” of life, the more we fear… we start trying to find solutions and wrestle with God for control.
It’s also about setting our minds on things other than fear.
Philippians 4:6-8 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”
Instead of letting fear rule our thoughts, we are encouraged to think on better things!
Be sure and check out our song "Stand Still" -- it deals with fear and a God who is bigger!
Isaiah 41:10- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:13- For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
John 16:33- “ I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”
Below we have included some additional verses on fear:
Psalm 46:1-3, Hebrews 13: 6, 2 Kings 6:16, John 14:1, John 14:27, Romans 8:15, Psalm 56:3-4, 1 John 4:18, Deuteronomy 31:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Luke 12: 6-7, Psalm 34:4, Lamentations 3:57, Psalm 27:1, Psalm 112:7, Psalm 23:4