BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS – New Year’s Eve Reflection
Pastor Manny De Leon
31 December 2011
Joshua 1:1-9 speaks about God’s faithfulness and His presence. Joshua was chosen by God to continue the task given to Moses in leading the Israel into the Promise land- the same promise he made to Abraham and his descendants many years ago. God chose Moses to deliver the message. But there were uncertainties and difficulties that came forth. They fell into unbelief and disobedience toward God, but God never failed to abandon his promise for them. After the death of Moses, God then called Joshua to lead the people and fulfill this same promise that there is a land to possess. God proved that not because Moses had died, it did not mean that His plans were dead as well. We must always be assured that it is important to see the faithfulness of God in receiving His promises in our lives.
In today’s situation, life is still not easy or should we say, it is even harder as what it used be. Life is still not free from uncertainties, troubles and hardships. No one knows what will happen, what the future holds and what we can expect. As years pass, the meaning of the word “Success” has evolved. The meaning and its value has adapted with the change of time. The problem is- it has now halted to equate with material possessions, educational achievements and career growth. We may have everything the world can offer but still we are not successful. The question remains on what is it actually to be successful? What is it really to be prosperous? The answer to these questions is simple, yet genuine and absolute. TO BE SUCCESSFUL IS TO BE THE PERSON WHAT GOD WANTS US TO BE AND DO WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO. The world translates the word SUCCESS differently as the Bible defines it. We should decide according to the will of God, do what is right in His eyes without any compromise and follow Him.
GOD FULFILLS HIS PROMISES. Same as how He reminded Joshua with the death of Moses, He also wants us to feel secured that His promise is not dependent on man but on Him alone. Like the Israel, we are also in a journey to receive the fullness of the promise, a journey that wasn’t guaranteed to be easy, and a walk that will have its ups and downs. But like them, God wants us to see that He is the only One that will help us make it through. He wanted us to see that He is the giver and the source of every blessing and not anyone else.
GOD IS ALWAYS PRESENT. God told Joshua in verse 5, as I was with Moses, so will I be with you, I will not fail you nor forsake you’. God has truly bounded us with His love. His attention will always with us. God’s presence is always all around us; he is always there in both good times and bad times. And in verse 9, He said not to be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go’. That at times, we may feel distant, hopeless and abandoned, we should not fear because He is always there for us, He is the source of our strength, He gives us wisdom and touches people to help us get through. God surrounded us with people that showed loves proving that He has never left us all the years.
GOD WANTS US TO PROSPER. It is indeed true that God will never fail us. But He also said that we should be courageous and be firm in observing the word of God. In verse7, He gave the laws, not to 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’. Life is not easy and God wants us to seek encouragement from Him, that we may feel secured. We should not deviate and not try to separate God’s blessings with obeying his words. We cannot read the Bible and not see the goodness and greatness of God. We must work towards having a commitment in improving our relationship with the Father.
This message is applicable to all of us especially as we enter another new year. We must always be ready and be available whenever we are called. We should not plan and just give these plans in the hands of the Lord. If we desire to do something, we must think ahead, decide and act. In all the aspects of our lives, we must continually make efforts to improve by abiding what God wants us to do. To obey Him is foremost and supreme. Moreover, we must persevere, act with discipline and be consistent in following His word despite the challenges we may face.
And as we continue with our ministries in serving the Lord, let it be known that we serve the one true God. It is not about us; it is not always waiting and wanting what we can receive from God; it is not only praying because we need something; it is not following Him because we only need answers to our prayers; but it is seeking Him to be with us at all times.. It is obeying Him and following Him.. It is serving Him for His glory. We become truly successful if we humble ourselves to our Father. As a true servant, let us not miss any opportunity to serve the Lord. Let us all plan for the coming years that His name and His glory be known.
Truly, God is faithful. Our success is established in following God and His word. His grace strengthens us and His mercy is new every morning. God bless you all throughout the year!!
Sis. Maridez Abalos