Saturday March 6 2021

As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.

Scripture: Joshua 1-4

Key verse: (1:9) “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.”

Reflection: Can you picture the excitement, the anticipation, tension, anxiety and the fear as the Israelites prepared to cross over the rushing Jordon river to the promised land? After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, imagine all the emotions the people of Israel and Joshua in particular, must have felt?

Moses, the only leader they had never known, was gone, leaving Joshua in charge. The people were now facing their biggest challenge with an untested leader. Joshua trusted God’s promise. He demonstrated his faith in God by courageously leading Israel into the promised land.

This passage speaks to us today. We find many obstacles that can create anxiety and discouragement, which leads to fear and distrust, and ends with stifling inaction. The obstacles you know, to mention a few, the lack of political civility, Covid-19, the lack of unity within the body of Christ, socioeconomic disparities, lack of low income housing, etc.

To personally combat discouragement, I try to get plenty of rest, exercise, avoid negative thinking, fellowship with friends, participate in a Bible study, Church worship, Sunday school, MPPC’s “Year in The Bible”, and focus on increasing my generosity and prayer. Focusing on these, and relying on God’s grace, I come to trust in Jesus to be our guide no matter the obstacle.

Joshua trusted God. As children of God, you and I can also trust that “the LORD our God will be with us wherever we go.”

Prayer: Lord, help me to obey and trust you, for the sake of your Kingdom. Amen.

Author: Ivan Hinrichs, Elder class of 2021

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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