Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Fear not nor be dismayed…arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the King of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.”
Joshua 8: 1
“See Your Victory!”
“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Is there something in my life I am asking God for and I need to trust Him to “give it into my hand?”
“God is the God of promise. He keeps His word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite.”
“God’s glory is at work in all things. Everything that exists, exists because it is held, sustained, enlivened by God’s wisdom and God’s power.”
Arthur Macdonald Allchin
Having been born and raised in the state of Arizona, many times, I have had the pleasure of visiting one of the great wonders in the world – the Grand Canyon.
For those of you who may not have heard about or seen anything about the Grand Canyon, it is one of the largest and most spectacular canyons in the world. With bright red rock formations that weave in and out, this amazing natural wonder really takes your breath away.
Every year, a minimum of over 4 million people plan their vacations with this destination on their itinerary.
When Jim and I have guests to our home, which is only a mere two hours from the Grand Canyon, people who have never been to this breath-taking location will inevitably ask, “Describe the Grand Canyon. What is it like?” And of course, we try, as best we can, to portray the canyon’s beauty.
But finally, we end up saying, “You have to see it for yourself. You have to go there and ‘feel the beauty’ inside yourself.”
This is what God said to Joshua in the text we have been studying for the last five days, Joshua 8:1, “And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘see.’” Notice, if you would, this isn’t a word spoken in the past tense or in the future tense. God didn’t say, “In the past you saw – even though God could have reminded Joshua that in the past He had done great things for His children. Nor was God saying to Joshua, “In the future you will see what I can do for you.” No, this was an emphatic statement of God’s current ability! It was God saying, “See, right now, that My gift of victory is in your hand.”
God wanted Joshua to know that right now, this very day, he would see God at work. And not only that, it wouldn’t be someone else “seeing” something and then describing it to Joshua. He would see God’s faithfulness and God’s leading for himself with his very own eyes.
Today we cannot and must not miss out on two critical lessons contained in Joshua 8:1.
In a time when our world’s future is in turmoil and upheaval, when you and I have no way of knowing what the future holds even day by day or minute by minute, God’s words resonate in my heart as though they were spoken right now to me. “See, Dorothy, with your very own eyes, that my gift of victory is in your hands. I’ve taken you through the Valley of Achor; I’ve led you through the door of hope; you have nothing to be afraid of, you have no reason to be dismayed. Instead, I want you, in My strength to arise so you are standing tall and are able to see with your own clear vision what I’m doing now for you.” And guess what? God isn’t saying this to me and not to you. These are His words, spoken directly to every one of His children. For His promise to Joshua was, “I am your God.”
I ask you, “Is the God of heaven and earth your God?” If you have embraced God as your Father, His promise is as literal and current now this minute to you, as when these words were spoken to Joshua thousands of years ago.
After our car accident, when days were very tough and painful and I found myself often covered by a heavy fog of discouragement, I decided to ask God for one thing. I asked Him to help me be aware and recognize His intervention or work in my life once each day. I told Him to keep me alert to one time each day when He was doing something, even some very small thing, that when I was healthy I was too busy and consumed with my own plans to notice.
My heavenly Father has answered that prayer. First, by asking Him for a clearer vision of His interaction in my life I’ve found that the earthly scales which often blurred my eyesight have been removed and all of a sudden I have begun to notice things I hadn’t seen before. Someone would give me a word of encouragement or something would happen and a flashing light would go off saying, “God’s at work here.”
If today you feel like you are still stuck in the Valley of Achor, I invite you to walk through God’s door of hope and into a place of rest and peace where there’s nothing that can make you afraid or dismayed. A place where you can, in God’s strength, arise to see for yourself, the victory your Father has placed in your hand.
The renowned theologian Karl Barth penned these words, “In God alone there is faithfulness and faith in the trust that we may hold to Him, to His promise and to His guidance. To hold to God is to rely on the fact that God is there for me, and to live in this certainty.”
I invite you today to “see” God’s gift of victory for He has “given” it into your hand.
“There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all He has promised.”
James Hudson Taylor
“Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me,
Smooth let it be or rough.
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.
Choose Thou my cares for me,
My poverty or my health;
Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength,
My wisdom and my all.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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