Updated: Dec 29, 2021
This Saturday is the start of a new year. Normally, new years often bring with them an expectation of “new beginnings” and “happier times”. But, to me, things seem a little different this year. We are living during very uncertain times. This COVID pandemic has helped to make our future feel a bit tenuous. We have no idea whether life as we knew it beforehand will ever return to normal. On top of that, the economy seems to be slowing down with every bit of news we hear. Violent crime is skyrocketing and economic, political, and religious division continues to separate us. It’s a time where many people have lost hope for a better future for their children and grandchildren.
It was just the opposite when Joshua and the Israelites were prepared to enter the promised land. The future looked bright. There was unity among the nation of Israel. People believed that God had a place for each of them in this land “flowing with milk and honey.” Yet, what did the Lord say to Joshua? “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them” (Joshua 1:6).
Despite this optimistic outlook, Joshua was apparently filled with fear and needed encouragement. Although God had promised the nation of Israel this land, Joshua knew it was not going to be an easy task. In order to receive the promise and take hold of the land, there was going to be a long, hard, road ahead of them, filled with uncertainty. God gave Joshua and the nation of Israel the encouragement they needed to move forward.
How we need that encouragement today! At a time when we have lost all sense of security, we need to hear an encouraging word from the Lord. He is saying to us today, “Just as I was with Joshua, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…” God knows our secret concerns, our fears, and our anxieties, and He wants to alleviate those and bring peace to our hearts and minds and hope for our future.
So, what is the best way to handle our insecurities?
We need to acknowledge our limitations–we cannot control the future.
We need to put aside our expectations–the world is not going to collapse upon us!
We need to hold tightly onto God’s declarations–He will be with us!
Limitations, expectations, declarations - when we do these things, we leave the future in His hands and do not give fear and anxiety a foothold in our lives. Although we cannot see the future, we remember that God not only sees it but controls it!
As 2022 approaches, we can trust the Lord with our future, knowing that He keeps us safely in the palm of His hands. He promised that He would never leave or forsake those who draw near to Him. We are never alone and our future is firm. So be strong and courageous – your Heavenly Father has got this!