I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- Journey of life
Joshua had been under the mentorship of Moses for so many years. Throughout the process Joshua was able to observe, learn and grow. Now in Joshua 1, the time had come for him to take over the leadership of God’s people – Israel. His goal was to lead them to the Promised Land. Even though the message of encouragement in this scripture was dedicated to Joshua, we can address this scripture and apply it directly into our lives as young people.
Life is a journey, which never stops. Through this journey, God has specific purposes for each person, regardless of where you started. When a young believer understands that every victory and challenge is a building block for where God has destined him or her to be, it transforms your view of life. As young people, even adults for that matter, we are continually transitioning into new things and “unchartered waters”.
You may be going into a new class, new job, new responsibility as a “class representative” or captain of a sports team, new ministry role at church or wherever. When you face change, there is always a lot of uncertainty. In many instances, uncertainty is accompanied by fear. The fear of failure, the fear of inadequacy, the fear of disappointment and the fear of the unknown. Whatever fear it may be, always remember that God is with you and He will never forsake you. He brought you to that specific point and He will lead you through it. Fear can paralyse and also make you remain in your comfort zone which yields no progress in life. As God’s children we are called to grow and prosper in the will of God.
- Instruction – be strong and courageous
These are words with authority. Firstly, to be “Strong” has to do with the ability to withstand great force or pressure and secondly to be “Courageous” has to do with being brave or not easily deterred by threats. Therefore, these are not words used lightly; you do not tell a person to be strong and courageous when they are engaging in ordinary activities. These words are used when a person has a big task ahead of them and they will most probably be discouraged when they face giants, resistance, and opposition “Be Strong and Courageous”.
In 1 Chronicles 28:20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”
In our scripture, God knew the big responsibility that Joshua had on his shoulders and He instructs Him to be “Strong and Courageous.”
What does this mean? It means:
- As you tackle new challenges in your life
- As you do a difficult subject that you feel you are not capable of passing
- As you deal with difficult people and peer pressure
- As you deal with whatever fears you have in life
You need to be “Strong and Courageous” to deal with tasks and adversities which lie ahead of you. The assurance we have in everything we face, is that God is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us, wherever the journey of life takes us.
- Obeying God’s word
God gives Joshua the key to prospering or success in his new role. The key God gives him is obedience to God’s word and strictly adhering to it and meditating on it at all times (day and night). God gives a promise to Joshua that if he is obedient to His word, success will follow him wherever he goes. We see what happens when people are obedient to God:
- Joseph was obedient to God, even when tempted by his Master’s wife – He overcomes and success followed Him (Genesis 39: 8-9; Genesis 41:39 – 43)
- Daniel and his friends were obedient to God and success follows them (Daniel 6:18-24, 28)
- Jesus is obedient to the Father and success follows Him (Romans 5:19)
With that being said, it is important to understand that obeying God’s word may not always yield immediate material or physical success, but overtime success does come. Do not be discouraged when you make the right decisions in line with God’s will and things don’t work out immediately. Success in life is knowing God, trusting Him and being obedience to His word regardless of the circumstances.
The first step in knowing God is by having a personal relationship with Him. Know that He genuinely loves you and believe that He sent His one and only son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. Moreover, through His death and resurrection, the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus is now yours. True success in life is well described in
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Worldly achievements without God are indeed meaningless – because they hold not eternal value.
Final thoughts: What are the practical things a Young person can to do to be successful in God?
- Read God’s word daily so that you can know His promises and what pleases and displeases Him
- Pray for strength and courage when faced with new tasks or challenges in life
- Seek God and apply His word in your life, He will lead you and you will be able to lead others to Christ
As young people, we need to pursue our God given passions and live the life God has destined for us according to His will. It will be a pity if we missed God’s promises because we were too afraid to engage in the things of God.