When I become frustrated with my current situation I always find encouragement from Joshua.
Why would I find encouragement from a guy who won pretty much every battle he ever embarked upon?
Well… the fact that Joshua was around before entering the Promised land… and he wasn’t just around hanging out… he had to suffer all 40 years of punishment in the wilderness for something he had nothing to do with.
You see in Numbers 13, Moses sent out a few spies to go ahead and find out what was going on in the Promised Land… they all did accordingly and returned to Moses. Joshua and, another spy, Caleb both said that the Israelites should move in and take the Promised Land right away… but the rest of the spies said they should bail out on the plan because they would be defeated by the people who lived there… and guess who the people of Israel sided with? The stupid spies who had no trust in God. Because of this God was pretty ticked and decided to kill off that entire generation of Israelites by making them wander in the desert for 40 years. But he spared both Joshua and Caleb.
If I were Joshua I would be angry. Actually… I would probably be a little more than angry.
Why in the world do I have to deal with 40 years of wandering with a bunch of grumpy people that God wants dead? I made the right decision! I even stood up for it and did all I could to make sure it was applied!
That is probably what I would have thought… but it seems that Joshua did not think that way… or at least act that way.
Later in Numbers 27 God tells Moses to appoint his successor… which happens to be Joshua.
You see, even though Joshua got the shaft when it came to partaking in God’s promise… he did not pout… he did the very best he could in his situation. He was faithful.
Every time Joshua is mentioned in Numbers, Deuteronomy, or Joshua (where he finally gets to head into the Promised Land), he is spoken highly of.
I believe that Joshua did the best that he could with his situation… even though it was not something he really cared for at all.
Wander in the wilderness for 40 years because other people didn’t listen to you? Not my cup of tea. But Joshua was faithful… and God blessed him mightily. God gave Joshua command of Israel and let him conquer the Promised Land.
Joshua proved he was faithful even in poor circumstances. He refused to sit around and scout out problems. Joshua found solutions. Joshua did the best he could with what he had. He was a true leader.
That is why Joshua encourages me so much. Even when he had every reason to be frustrated and quit… he didn’t. He worked hard. He was faithful. Even when he disagreed with his entire being.
“23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” – Colossians 3:23