“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
The LORD spoke these words to Joshua not long before sending him and the Israelite army to take the city of Jericho. Thank God I’ve never had to go to war. I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to take the life of another, or to face imminent death myself. I’m eternally grateful for those who have selflessly faced those harsh realities for the good of others. The LORD told Joshua to be strong and courageous as he prepared for battle. Do those words apply to us in any way? They certainly do. If the LORD was willing to protect and bless Joshua and the Israelite army thousands of years ago, we can be sure that His promise stands true today. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20 God is with us in our daily battles with temptation, fear, sadness, and hopelessness. He is with us in our battles. This coming Tuesday marks the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther. That act sparked years of turmoil and conflict in the Christian church, and caused Luther to have a bounty put on his head by Emperor Charles V. God’s encouragement to Joshua certainly gave Luther comfort in his battles. Luther’s words and actions brought the Truth of the Gospel back to the forefront of Christian teaching. Luther refused to let anything obscure the truth that Jesus has earned forgiveness and eternal for all who believe in Him. God’s words above remind us that we have comfort in our battles because Jesus won the ultimate battle over sin, death, and the devil by His death and resurrection. Your God is a mighty fortress. Christ has fought for you, and won! You have peace, and ultimate victory in Jesus Christ. Here we stand.