Moses is at the end of his life.  He has led the children of Israel up to this point.  Through the Red Sea and across the wilderness.  But he will not be taking the people into the promised land.  Why?  In the wilderness, he had disobeyed God by striking the rock for water rather than speaking to it as God had commanded him to do.  Since it was very public disobedience, God had to publicly punish his sin.  He is commanded Moses to turn over leadership to his assistant, Joshua.

Put yourself in Joshua's place.  You are being asked to lead in a very precarious situation.  You're following an incredible leader in Moses.  You're bound to be compared to him.  How do you fill those shoes?  You're being ask to lead a group of over 600,000 grumbling, complaining people.  You're being ask to lead these people to conquer a land that is filled with walled, fortified cities and ferocious warriors.  Think you'd be nervous?  Think you'd be wondering if you had what it takes to do this?  I know I would.

But Moses has a special message for Joshua.  Look what he says to him.

"Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all of Israel watched, he said to him, 'Be strong and courageous!  For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors He would give them.  You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you: He will neither fail you nor abandon you'."  Deuteronomy 31:7-8 

We all have times when we face situations that cause us to be afraid, full of self-doubt and hesitant to move forward.  Perhaps you even find yourself in that situation now.  Perhaps you've been asked to take on a new role.  Perhaps you're facing sickness.  Perhaps you know you need to have a hard conversation.  Perhaps you are being challenged to step outside your comfort zone.  Perhaps you're pondering starting a new business.  And you seem frozen.  Unable to take the step forward.

God has a word for you.  It's the same word He delivered to Joshua.  Be courageous!  In I Corinthians 16:13,  He echoes this by saying this.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

In the charge to Joshua, we find three reasons why we can be courageous.

#1 - You can be courageous because of the PRESENCE of God.  Look what Moses says.

"The Lord will personally go ahead of you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

You can be courageous because you are not going to do this alone.  God will be with you.  The Holy Spirit indwells you and will fill you with His power.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  You don't have to walk in your own confidence.  You can walk in Godfidence...knowing He has your back.  He will win the victory through you.  The battle is His.  Where He guides, He always provides.

Life is uncertain at times, but you can be certain that God is with you.  Even in the tough times.  When the sea is not calm, He can calm you.  You see, courage is not the absence of pain.  It is the presence of God.  Even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with you.

#2 - You can be courageous because of the PROMISES of God.  Look at what else Joshua is told.

"After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant.  He said, 'Moses my servant is dead.  Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.   I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you'."

You can be courageous because you can stand on the promises of God.  Your knees may be knocking, but take the step anyways.  God's promises will sustain you.  Is there a new path God is calling you to?  Don't hesitate.  Paths are made for walking, not waiting.  You can't be comfortable and courageous at the same time.  It's not about getting a chance, it's about taking a chance.  And with God's promises, you can move forward with courage. 

#3 - You can be courageous because of the PEOPLE of God.  You can see this stated in verse 2.

"When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, he said, 'I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you.'  The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan River.  But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you.  He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised'."

Joshua could be courageous because he wasn't going to be doing this alone.  He had the people of God to help him.  Together they would march around the walls of Jericho and see them come crashing down.  Together they would win victories.  Together they would claim the land.

You are not alone as well.  Surround yourself with the people of God.  They can stand with you.  They can pray for you.  They can encourage you.  They can have faith for you when your faith is running low.  They can infuse you with courage when you're nervous about taking that next step.

What are you facing?  Be courageous.

What is the challenge ahead of you?  Be courageous.

Have past failures caused you to hesitate?  Be courageous.

Sometimes the smallest step of courage ends up being the biggest step of your life.