Pat’s Praise: God Will Stand By You

Published 9:38 am Monday, March 21, 2022

“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.” Joshua 1:9 NIV.

As God’s people, how can we possibly begin and continue living the Christian life without faith?

Impossible! In real life, great leaders are rare. Today’s generations are privy to a brilliant military leader with a solid spiritual influence over his people. That person is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. We don’t know whether Zelenskyy is one of God’s chosen.

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But what we do know is that Joshua was the chosen one by God to take the Israelites into the promised land. Joshua had already proven himself a successful military leader, having distinguished himself as a man of faith and courage when he and Caleb gave the minority spy report recorded in Numbers 13:30 – 14:9. Remember how the people traveled a circuitous route through the desert for forty years, not following Moses; instead, they were failing in faith and had refused to obey God – so they wandered.

Back up to Joshua 1:6-8 NIV, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers 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.”

How motivational and tactical, this pep-talk to Joshua. As he was the personal aide to Moses for forty years, he was well prepared to take over the nation’s leadership.

These are frightening times, with the war between Russia and Ukraine. We must lean on the Word of the Law that God taught Joshua. He said that Joshua must be strong and courageous to succeed because the task ahead would be difficult. Further, we must understand that to succeed by the world’s standards, we may not, but we will be a success in God’s eyes – and His opinion lasts forever!

The Rascal Flatts country group released a song titled “I won’t let you go” on October 25, 2010. This group has since disbanded (2021 after many years together), but they impacted the music world.

Lead singer, Gary LeVox, does an outstanding job with the vocals. It is a spiritual song played at weddings and funerals, and the words go like this: “I will stand by you. I will help you through; when you’ve done all you can do, and you can’t cope, I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight. I will hold you tight, and I won’t let go.” It is just like God, talking to Joshua, you, or me on our most difficult days.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV.

These verses aptly apply to the line “When you’ve done all you can do, and you can’t cope.” God promises to those who stumble and fall yet continue to have hope in the Lord will be renewed in strength. Those verses are so applicable to Presiden Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people. Russia was not prepared for the resistance they were meeting from Ukraine. Even the strongest people get tired at times, but God’s power and strength never diminish. His strength is our source of strength in times such as these. When we feel life is crushing in on us is the time to call on God to renew our strength and courage.

Revelation 21:4 tells us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.” God made a covenant with us, and we must be covenant-keeping people who will follow the Lord and His guidance. From the beginning, as recorded in the Book of Genesis (the beginning of the world) to the Book of Revelation and the world’s end. We learn from the pages between Genesis and Revelation how people, the garden, and the earth are cursed. We know of Paradise lost and people doomed to death. But in the end, we learn that Paradise is regained and death is defeated and that believers live forever with God.

“Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from that noisy crowd of evildoers.” Psalm 64:1-2 NIV. Evil can come in the form of a secret conspiracy or an ambush because Satan wants to catch us unprepared. We are tempted in our weakest areas when least expected. Psalm 63:8 NIV says this: “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” I expect the line in the song “I will hold you tight and I won’t let go” derived from this Scripture.

Stress, fear, anxiety, sleepless nights will eventually happen to us. We must lean on His every Word, trusting and believing in God as our Savior. Stay in His Word, the Bible, and often pray, giving thanks for the many blessings in our lives.

A published author and columnist, Pat Throckmorton can be reached at kandpthrock@gmail.com