Lessons from Joshua for When Our Faith is Tested

Joshua is popularly known as Moses’ second in command who takes over and leads the Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses’ death. While Joshua is considered one of the Bible’s greatest military leaders for leading the seven-year conquest to the Promised Land, his road wasn’t easy and his faith was tested. Despite these circumstances, Joshua was a man who showed living faith toward God and gained victory against overwhelming odds.

Joshua demonstrated the type of faith we need to enable us to overcome the challenges and difficulties we face today. Joshua courageously led the children of Israel out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, and from his bold example we can learn many lessons. Like Joshua, we can boldly leap into the waters and march with shouts around the walls of any challenge, because we know that God who parts waters and tears down walls is the greatest and only power in the world. Here are five lessons from Joshua for when our faith is tested.

God is Faithful to His Promises

One primary lesson we can draw from Joshua’s life is that God is faithful to His promises. God promised Abraham that his descendants would dwell in the land, and under Joshua, God brought the people into the land that He promised to give them. The act completed the mission of the redemption that God started with Moses in bringing Israel out of Egypt. It is also a type which points to the ultimate redemption that Jesus brings to those who believe in Him. Like Moses, Jesus delivered us from bondage and slavery to sin, and like Joshua, Jesus will bring us into the eternal Promised Land.

Be Strong and of Good Courage

One of the primary themes of the book of Joshua is “Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:6-7,9,18). While the book of Numbers shows that Israel lacked faith to enter the land of Canaan, God inspired Joshua with courage and faith to lead Israel to meet the enemy face to face, trusting God to give them the victory. Of the 12 men selected to spy out the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb brought favorable report. While the other 10 spies focused on Canaanite giants and cities with strongly fortified walls, Joshua and Caleb focused their minds on the power of God to fulfill His promises. Joshua was truly a great biblical leader.

Trust in God’s Word

Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep the Book of the Law always on your lips; meditates on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” When we’re facing extraordinary circumstances and our faith is being tested, it’s important that we stay in God’s Word and trust in His promises. Studying God’s Word is like mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely sift through the pebbles in the stream, we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.

God Gives Us Victory Over the Problems We Face

The lesson from Jericho, recorded in Joshua 6:1-27, helps us understand how God wants to give us victory over the problems that we face. While most of us have heard about Jericho, few of us have put the principles shown to work in our lives. We all deal with issues every day of our lives – depression, loneliness, addiction, defeat and despair are just a few to name. Jericho stands for all those things that we can’t get victory over on our own but will hurt others and eventually destroy us if we don’t. These are the things we hide in our lives: our fears, defeats, anxieties and outright deceit. God knows there is only one solution: lead them into battle against them.

Stay Focused on God

When the Israelites prepared to cross, they were instructed to watch for the Ark of the covenant and follow it. Joshua 3:4 says, “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” The Ark represented the presence of God. Seeking the Lord means seeking His presence; however, there is a sense in which God’s presence is not with us always. For this reason, the Bible repeatedly calls us to seek the Lord and to seek His presence continually. There are times when we will lose heart and even lose faith when we focus on the flood waters around us. This is why it’s important to continually focus on God and His truth.

There is probably a good chance that at some point this year, you will be facing a very difficult circumstance. You may be up against what seems too hard to do, or maybe even impossible. But in spite of all that you may face, the same God who parted the Jordan for Israel cares just as deeply about you and me. Remember this when your faith is being tested.

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