We read in Deuteronomy 31:6-7 that Moses turned his leadership of Israel over to Joshua. In that transition he told Joshua to be “strong and of good courage.” God repeats these same instructions in Joshua 1:7:
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
Joshua was to place his full trust in God.
These days we see people putting their trust in various places–frankly, in just about anything. They may put their trust in money, which Christ warned against (Mark 10:24); or, they may put their trust in other human beings (but compare Micah 7:5). But these areas of trust cannot hold up to the passage of time.
Where can we put our trust and not have it fail? Who is it that will never let us down?
The answer, of course, is God. But it may not be that simple. Isn’t it interesting that in times of national disaster, we may hear people talk about God. And they may start “praying.” Unfortunately, many fail to realize that this is not real trust. One cannot go on ignoring that there is a God–let alone the one and only TRUE God–and then expect Him to help in times of devastation.
We read in the book of Judges that the children of Israel did this dance over and over again. They would face calamity, “repent” and feel sorry for their circumstances, but after God had saved them, they would return to their old ways. The problem was that they “trusted” in God only at certain times. Their “trust” was only temporary and self-serving.
Really trusting in God was not easy for the children of Israel, partly because they did not have God’s Holy Spirit to help guide them. When they did have dedicated leaders, they followed their good example. But they did not endure. When the righteous leaders died, they forgot all about their own righteousness.
What about today? All of us who are being led by the Holy Spirit should be able to put our trust in God with no problem, right? In a perfect world this might be true. Unfortunately, Satan is the ruler and god of this world, and he tries to get us to doubt God. Christ said that trusting in God and walking the straight and narrow way would not be easy (compare Matthew 7:13-14). He said that His true disciples would be persecuted and would have trials. But He also said that there is nothing that God cannot help us through.
Where is it that we put our real and enduring trust? Will we put it in the money and people of this world? Or will we put it in God, the One who created this world and sustains it? It’s our choice. We are to choose wisely. Proverbs 3:5-7 gives all of us this lasting admonition: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”