January is the month for courage. It takes courage to do anything significant. It takes courage to start a family. It takes courage to start a business. It takes courage to follow your dreams. Believe it or not, we need courage to obey the Lord.

Joshua is our witness that it takes courage to try again after failure.

Joshua took a deep breath and slowly exhaled as he ran his fingers through his hair. The last thing he expected was to lose Achan and his family. It never occurred to him that someone would jeopardize their future for a few tokens. He clasped his hands behind his back and slowly made his way to his tent. “This is too hard,” he sighed as he rested on his mat. As he closed his eyes he whispered, “What’s next? It seems like we make a huge step forward only to get snatched back three.”

As Joshua began to stir from his sleep, he heard the voice of the Lord, “Don’t be afraid and don’t lose hope. I will help you and you will defeat Ai. Take the whole army with you and just like Jericho, you will win. This time all the spoils belong to you.” Joshua sat up straight as the Lord reminded him again to have courage.

Joshua could have stopped after the victory over Jericho, but God had promised to do more for the children of Israel. When Achan’s sin caused them to lose a battle with the nation of Ai, I can imagine Joshua wondered if he had missed it. “Didn’t God say we would possess the land of the nations across the Jordan? What happened to Your word, God? This is humiliating. What will You do, God for Your great name?” Joshua learned that Achan had disobeyed the Lords’ command not to take anything for personal use. Achan’s disobedience affected the whole nation.

I can imagine Joshua holding his breath as they set out to fight Ai again. Would be there another surprise? Would they win this time or turn back in shame again? Joshua obeyed God and led the army to victory over Ai. (See Joshua 7 & 8)

What is the Lord telling you to do? What are your dreams? Have you started fulfilling them or are you afraid you will make a mistake? Are you afraid that your past failure is an indication of your future attempts?

Take courage and do not lose hope. With God all things are possible. He created us to be victorious in His name.

I pray today that you will find the courage to start dreaming again and allow the Lord to lead you to the destination He has planned for you.

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