November 23, 2013

In Tough Times

Series:
Passage: Joshua 1:2-9
Service Type:

Introduction

The Key word in the book of Joshua is possession. God had given the children of Israel their land in an unconditional covenant.  This book starts out with the end of one era and the beginning of a new.  The words that God spoke “Moses my servant is dead; now…” was a great turning point in the experience of God’s people.  They were not only facing a time of transition, but also a challenging adventure.

Like the children of Israel, transition takes place in all of our lives.  If you are blessed to live  long enough, you will quickly find that live is full of transitions. A common word that resounds in all of our lives is “Challenge”, and ironically enough a definition of this noun is. a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc. 2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest

We all will experience the challenges that live bring when one era ends and the other begins. But through all of the changes live can and will bring, God is present, when live is tough God had a plane for your live. The title of my message today is “In tough Times”

Body

After the Exodus from Egypt; the drowning of Pharaohs army, the giving of the Law and the wondering in the desert for more than 40 years. The children of Israel are in the midst of a transition and have a challenge ahead. What do we do when we are faced with challenges and changes in our lives?

The Challenges: So much lay before them

There was a challenge of change

  1. In leadership- Moses was now dead and Joshua was elevated. As you read the account in the scriptures you will ask why now? Why does God call Moses home after he has served so faithfully. Moses represented the Law and the Law cannot save us. The Law is a revealer and not a redeemer. It shows us that we are sinners. The Law was never a savior. Moses could not lead Israel into the land because of his failure.
  1. They had lost many while wondering in the desert but now it was time for a Savior. Joshua’s name means “Jehovah saves.” The same word in the New Testament is Jesus.
  1. They were now moving from a nomad nation to a settled nation.  When we are young we all are nomads in life. We move from place to place during different seasons of life.  But at some time in life you will have to settled down and face the challenges that lie ahead of you. The word settled means to put into order’ arrange or fix definitely as desired. In order to meet the challenge and get to the Promised Land God has for you, You will have to put your life in order. Remember your steps are ordered by the Lord, this is how he helps us meet the challenges of life.

 

The challenge of Crossing

  1. In tough times you will find out that you have to fight your way through many obstacles.

Death of loves ones, sickness, fear, hopelessness, marital issues, jobs,  all these thing bring “Tough Times” and In order to reach the Promised Land, that is your destiny you will have to cross tough terrain.   Israel had been through this before, but it was more daunting now as the water was at flood stage and there was an enemy on the other side.

There was almost now one there with any personal experience. Isn’t’ it funny that when tough times come, no one is there to offer assistance? It seems like no one understands our situation.

You will have to meet the challenge of the crossing. What is the crossing, Israel had to cross over into the Promised Land.  Because there will be conflict, we are told in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God. We have a spiritual enemy fighting against us. He waits until he thinks that we are weak and ambushes us

The Challenge of Control

They were undisciplined wanderers, and now their leader Moses was gone. When we go through tough times we tend to wander around out of control. We realize that we have no control over the things that happen in life. We never anticipated the change of family, getting older, or having a sickness. We don’t anticipate the loss of a job or the collapse of the economy.

Like Israel we have a “Manna” mentality. The Manna Mentality is a mentality that it will always be there and God will always make it easy. I came to tell you that if you keep living you will find that there are times when God will not make it easy. There are times he expects for us to fight through the obstacles and know that we are not in control.

He wants us to fully embrace Ephesians 6:12 and remember “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. He also wants is to embrace Ephesians 1:3 which says “We are blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies”.  But unfortunately very few Christians lay hold of the spiritual blessings that belong to them.

Closing

But though we have to go through “Tough Times” and though we have cloudy days. Jesus like Joshua has been given the command and the power to lead us through to the place of blessing.  And God has given us certainties. You can be sure of the following things while in tough times.

  • Be sure of my presence “as I was with Moses” I will be with you.
  • Be sure of my power “ I am able to do whatever I need to do” and I will do what I have said I will do”
  • Be sure of my promise “ No one will be able to withstand you until you complete the task for which I send you”
  • Be sure of my provision- I have given you my word”
  • Be sure of my purpose- “ I will have you possess the land”

Jesus died under the Law; he died that the requirement for Sin would be satisfied. Like Moses he lost his life because of the Law. But like Joshua he was raised from the dead to become a savior and worrier. Like God in spirit he has given us the Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith.  So when tough times come upon you,  just say what David says in Psalms 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

God gave Joshua a tough challenge, but God gave Joshua what he needed to accomplish the task. You may be facing a tough challenge in your life. God will give you what you need to accomplish it just be sure you are faithful to His Word.

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