The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, March 1, 2022, comes to us from Ken Claar of Idaho.
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand 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. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9 NIV
I was sitting alone in my small trailer home, reading a morning devotion. I couldn’t go anywhere because of the threat of a pandemic. I was worried and a bit scared because I was also having strong allergy symptoms that had lasted a month. Could it be the virus, not allergies? As I continued to read my devotions, I found that God had to tell Joshua – a strong, brave warrior – three times in nine verses not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous. Somehow those three repeated admonitions made me a little stronger and more courageous as well. They reminded me that God is watching over me too. Then another verse from Joshua’s story rang clear to me: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Those words were also meant for you and me.
The constant commentary in our news and social media can easily stir up fear and hopelessness. But we can counter that with God’s words to Joshua, “I will never leave you … Be strong and courageous.” Holding on to that promise, we can relax and do the things we must do, always with the knowledge that we are not alone; our God is watching over us. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).
Our current circumstances of our world include not only the ongoing pandemic, but also political and social turmoil. Fear and stress are certainly normal human responses to all that is going on around us. Ken Claar reminds us to lean on God for strength and courage. Courage to do what we need to do in order to maintain our health and the health of others, and strength to face the world around us. This scripture reminds repeatedly that God is with us always and everywhere, giving us both courage and strength. I invite you to consider recent moments when God has offered you the courage and strength to face a difficult or frightening circumstance in your life.
Forgive us, Father, when we forget that you are watching over us, even in a pandemic. Remove our fear, and renew our trust in you. Amen.
For Deeper Trust in God.
Thought for the Day:
Because God is for me, I will not give in to fear.