“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.”– Psalm 27:13&14
How often do we look at someone and say “they are stronger than me, I never would be able to handle that.” OR how often do we look at ourselves and say, “This is too much. I am not strong enough.”
Here’s the thing, though. The bible never says “If you have a strong personality or you are strong-willed, then be strong and courageous.” No.
In Joshua 1, God makes it very clear by saying,
“I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (v. 6-9).”
God is saying choose courage. Choose strength. But it’s not strength based on personality or personal experience or any of the tricks we would like to be able to pull out of our hat. Choosing strength is choosing to live sourced by the Spirit.
It’s about being willing to be broken, awestruck, humbled, and in wonder of a God who so lavishly loves us. It’s about accepting His will, His lead, His choice for our lives and following accordingly. It’s about crying tears of desperation and sacrifice and the laying down of our life, so that He might be proven faithful. It’s about trust in the midst of confusion, worship in the midst of struggle, joy in the midst of pain.
And it doesn’t look like a textbook definition or what the world might expect most of the time.