Hang in There... He Can Do It!
“Hang in there! You can do it!” How many times have you heard someone say that? I know it’s usually intended as encouragement to keep going—a one-size-fits-all affirmation to just dig in with all your might and overcome whatever you’re facing. But is that really the right sort of thing for believers to say, or even believe? That you or I can rally ourselves together enough to eventually do whatever “it” is?
Yet there are some things we face that we clearly cannot do. We don’t have the strength, know-how, expertise, or experience to get the job done on our own. And even if we have all the necessary skills, we don’t always have all the information or details to succeed.
That was definitely Joshua’s plight. Most people know about his battle at Jericho, but that’s only the most famous of the dozens of cities that would be conquered across the Jordan River (Jos. 12). He was tasked with subduing and/or destroying all the established kingdoms in Canaan with only an ill-trained band of former desert dwellers. It was an impossible scenario that seemed doomed to fail—that is, except for one key factor: the faithfulness of God!
When God commissioned Joshua for this assignment, He never once spoke about the talent, power, or accomplishments of Joshua. The Lord didn’t give him good marks in leadership on his last annual review or nominate him for best warrior status. In fact, He didn’t say a single thing about the ability of Joshua or his soldiers. While Israel’s new leader was clearly directed to be “strong and courageous” (Josh. 1:6), he wasn’t supposed to muster up that determination from within himself. God prefaced this daunting command with a promise of His strength and His unending presence. He said, “Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (v. 5).
In the New Testament, Jesus made that promise more personal when He sent the Holy Spirit to live within His followers. He told them, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth … He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).
Today, when we know that we are in God’s will, doing that which He has commanded, we often face what seem to be impossible situations. In those times, we must believe and trust that God is with us (Josh. 1:5), God is in us (John 14:17), and God is for us (Rom. 8:31).
As believers in Christ, we can hold on to the promise of God’s faithfulness. While that doesn’t guarantee that things will be resolved the way we want, we can confidently know that we are never alone. And no matter how convoluted a situation seems, we can know that our God is working something good for His children (Rom. 8:28).
So yes, we can keep going and we don’t have to give up, but not because we can do it. We persevere and endure knowing that even when our strength and ability fails, God’s never will.
Written by Karen Woodall