I have had more requests for prayer lately than I have had in quite some time. Let’s face it – we all have issues. Janet and I have things we cover in prayer – and many folks write in to TBTB asking for specific prayer support. Of course, I have quite a few contacts in the business community and we all know those folks aren’t immune from issues in their own lives as well.
The trouble with all this is that when we tend to get focused on our problems, we sometimes forget that the God of the universe is in the middle of our trials – with us. We can ask for signs as to whether we should zig or zag, but sometimes, God doesn’t seem to answer. That doesn’t mean he isn’t present – only temporarily silent.
One of my favorite Bible stories has to do with this very issue. At the end of the life of Moses, who was “gathered to his fathers” before being allowed to enter the Promised Land, Joshua, his young protege was charged by God to step up into a position of leadership. Joshua had doubts – after all, he had always been the apprentice, not the leader that Moses had been. And even though Joshua had unusual access to Moses and to God, he didn’t believe that he had the right “stuff” to lead the people of God into the Promised Land.
Of course, God eventually provided encouragement to Joshua. We find in the end of this story that Joshua led the priests and more than 2 million people into the Promised Land, through the parting of the River Jordan – just as Moses had held his staff to part the Red Sea during their flight from Egypt many years earlier. But this didn’t happen without God’s interaction with Joshua. In fact, three times God told Joshua to be “strong and courageous”. He went on to promise Joshua that He would be with Joshua as He had been with Moses. And that was important for the young leader to hear.
Because all of us have doubts from time to time. Maybe we are in a particularly difficult place and we need to know that God is present, listening and responding. Sometimes, we just need to know that it will all work out in the end – and that gives us the perseverance to power through and commit ourselves to the end. And sometimes, we have self doubt and really wonder if God is there at all. Enter the promises of God.
Throughout the Bible, there are thousands of promises of God. Admittedly, there are disputes as to the exact number, ranging from 7300+ to more than 30,000 – that last number attributed to the number of verses in the Bible. But by any account, many theologians would say that God has made many thousands of promises to Man. And God doesn’t break His promises. They range from supplying every need that we have to eternal life. And just about everything in between.
The verse for tonight reminds us of the promise that God made to Joshua just prior to the entry into the Promised Land. We are told, in Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That’s the same promise that God has made to each of us who believe in Him. He is there – for sure, forever…
My encouragement this evening is that God is waiting to show you that He will keep His promises to us. My prayer is that you will claim the promises of God and that will get you through the tough times of your life. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…