Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Evangelizing in public as a new Christian was a bit intimidating for me. Within the Church, I certainly felt the safety and comfort needed to tell people my story and the testimony of how God called me from death to life. As I participated more and more in ministry, I was regularly put in the position of having to engage those who were still in the world. Now, even though I was still sharing my story and speaking of my faith with strangers, I was doing so with those who might not agree with me or be happy to hear what I had to say. I experienced fear and nervousness as I started to put this into practice because I just did not know how people would respond to me. I did not recognize that I was simply doing what God sends us all to do, and He does not put us in the fight so that we will be defeated by fear or our enemies.
If we review the verses preceding this one, we see God reassuring Joshua that the fulfillment of his promise will come shortly. We do not see a response from Joshua indicating that he is questioning God or afraid of what lies ahead. All we read are the words of God, so it is interesting that He makes a point to remind Joshua that He is sending them over the Jordan. God knows how Joshua feels in that moment and reassures him based on that knowledge. God is asking a sensible question because it just makes sense that God will protect his people if He sends them there. The question for Joshua is how much more reassurance or proof he needs to trust that this mission will be a success. While God gives him a lot of instruction and several points of confidence, there is only one thing to consider. God sends us only to be victorious.
I feared how the world would respond to my testimony because I did not understand that God only sends me to reach the world so that good fruit can be produced. I feared the bad that could come from these interactions, but there is no bad. Even if my speaking for the Lord resulted in being insulted or beaten or killed, my suffering with Christ for his cause would be good fruit. When God calls us to something, it is because He will accomplish his goal through that. We can trust that we are secure when we follow his calling. If He is the one sending us, there is absolutely no reason to fear. Father, thank You for using us to accomplish your purposes in this world, and give us the faith to follow your instruction with courage and strength.