This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

For years Joshua had been Moses’ right hand man. He’d been chosen to survey the Promised Land. He’d become Moses’ spokesperson to the people. He’d learned how to lead, how to wage military battle and most importantly, how to trust God. Now Moses was dead and God chose Joshua to take the lead role in bringing Israel into the Promised Land.

Being number two in command is relatively easy. If you are an assistant to the director or an assistant coach you offer advice and do your responsibilities but the final decisions are all in the hands of the ‘boss’. As a child you follow the advice and wisdom of your parents or trusted adult advisors. As a student you listen to and adhere to the guidelines of your instructor. In each situation the final say is out of your hands.

The real challenge in life comes when you step from the role of assistant to the guy in charge. You suddenly realize that all the decisions and all the responsibility are now yours. As a teacher, the class looks to you for wisdom and guidance. As a coach, the team follows your direction and expects victory. As a parent, your children watch you in order to learn the basics of life and living.

It’s no wonder then, that when life changes occur we can become fearful, even as adults. When our parents die there can be a sense of loss and fear and the thought, “What will I do now?” when in actuality we’ve been on our own for years and have children of our own. The fear of going it alone is a powerful and sometimes crippling emotion. In whatever position we find ourselves in, when the opportunity comes to step up we can doubt our own abilities to carry on. We never really get over that need to have someone direct us and support us.

The most important thing any of us can do is to surround ourselves with a support system that won’t fail. That’s the offer God gives to Joshua and to us. A support system that will never fail us regardless of anything we do or others do to us. He promises to be our source of guidance, strength and encouragement.

People will fail you, but God won’t. Religion will fail you, but God won’t. Money will fail you, but God won’t. Education will fail you, but God won’t. Technology will fail you, but God won’t. Nothing you come across in life will keep Him from being your Go-to-Guy. As you grow in relationship with God you will find Him faithful and His wisdom unconquerable.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. There are times when I’m like Joshua. I look ahead at the task before me and am overwhelmed. I experience struggles and tragedies that discourage me. Friends and even family members have abandoned me and I feel so alone. Please help me to sense your presence. Empower me to draw close to you and learn to rely on your wisdom and strength to get through my days. Thank you for loving me. Amen.

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