“The Lord spoke to Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses.”
Joshua 3:7 HCSB
The Lord was leading the people, first through Moses, and now through Joshua, the signs Moses performed were essentially there to establish that he was doing the Lord’s work. Fast forward several hundred, maybe even a thousand, years and you have the Jewish leaders asking for a sign from Jesus, who was indignant to give them one. Perhaps this is because He was performing great signs and miracles, but also (and I think this is really the case), He required them, and now us, to follow based off of faith. The difference between the two is that Joshua and Moses were men. Jesus is the Son of God.
“Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.
Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. They told Joshua, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.””
Joshua 2:8-11, 23-24 HCSB
Two separate groups of verses that work together to tell me a story. The Lord’s mighty works preceded the Israelites, just as He said they would.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.””
Joshua 1:9 HCSB
Being strong and courageous isn’t just a good trait, it is a command! To NOT be strong and courageous is to say that God isn’t with us.
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11 HCSB
Here, towards the end of second Corinthians, I find this nugget. It seems that we all want the peace of God to be with us. This tells me exactly how to do it. To find God‘s peace, we must find peace amongst ourselves., which includes our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 HCSB
This is so true, and something I need to be reminded of – whenever things are difficult, His Grace is sufficient. And when I am brought low, I have His Power. What more do I need?
“And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.”
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 HCSB
Satan lies. Pure and simple, and just as Jesus has followers, so does Satan. The difference being his are simply deceived. Sure there are those who know who they serve, but most wouldn’t, that is why he has to deceive them with things like “science” and “rational thinking”. Are these things bad? Of course not, so long as they don’t take us away from the truth that is Christ our Lord.
“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB
This chapter seems to be dealing with some challenges to Paul’s authority. His response is distilled down to this: I (Paul) have great authority only because of my (Paul’s) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without that faith, I have nothing. With it, I have great authority. The above verses seem to speak to this in that he is saying that we are at war, but a war that we will win because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But not only will we win; we will win swiftly. In otherwords, the world and our enemies do not stand a chance!!
“Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 HCSB
This verse precedes the verse where Paul reminds us that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. I read this and am reminded that I serve a God of abundance. A God of infinite proportions. Why am I afraid to be generous???
“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God granted to the churches of Macedonia: During a severe testing by affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity.”
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 HCSB
Paul is speaking of another church that, while poor and afflicted, became wealthy through its generosity. This leads me to ask: what is wealth? These people became wealthy in their hearts, but also no doubt stored up great treasures in Heaven.
“For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10 HCSB
There are two kinds of grief – worldly and godly. One is obviously good, the other not. I only wish Paul would have expounded upon worldly grief and what that looks like. I suppose if I am grieving because someone has something that I want (covetousness), that might be an example. Perhaps grieving because I didn’t get my way (assuming my way doesn’t align with the Lord) would be another. But grieving because I sinned, TRULY grieving, this purifies me because it leads to repentance.