Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. Joshua 1:1-3

For forty years, Joshua had been by the side of Moses as they wandered through the wilderness. Because of unbelief, the generation of those who had come out of Egypt did not receive the blessing that God had for them.

Up to that point, Moses had been in charge. Joshua had been Moses’ right-hand man, but now, Moses was dead. Joshua was now in charge. I imagine that Joshua had thoughts like, “This is scary. I’m now in charge, and I don’t quite know what to do.”

In his assistant role he had learned one important thing – trust the Lord. Do what you know to do, and trust God to handle the details. God’s promise to Joshua was that wherever the sole of his foot tread upon would be Israel’s.

In giving Joshua this promise and further instructions, God tells Joshua three times to be strong and courageous. “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

Perhaps as the end of another year approaches, you are looking back at some real pain and hardship. Perhaps you are looking forward to the coming year with fear and apprehension, unsure of what to do.

My friend, the good news is that God is the same today as He was in the time of Joshua. God is still with you. His instruction to be strong and courageous applies just as much to you today as it did to Joshua. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but you can press on through life knowing that by your side is a God who loves you and will never leave you or forsake you.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.