When the Battle is Long, God’s Command is to be Strong

Paolo Punzalan

July 02, 2020

We are in faith for a cure for COVID-19, but we are told that the vaccine could take about 18 months to be developed.

God sometimes takes us out of the storm. But there are times when God takes us through the storm. 

Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus, but didn’t take Paul’s thorn out of his flesh. Yet he did say, “My grace is sufficient.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

But while we are in the midst of the storm, what should we do?

In Joshua 1:2-7, God was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Moses, the one who led them through the desert for 40 years, was dead.

Now Joshua, his assistant, had taken over as their leader. They were facing giants in the land. It won’t be a quick take over. This took some time. There were miracles like the falling of the wall of Jericho, but there were still many lands and people groups to conquer.

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and it seems like this may take some time.

In the midst of the battle, what do we do?

Even when the battle is long, the command is to be strong.

How can we be strong in the midst of a battle?

 1. Hold on to God’s promises.

“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.”

Joshua 1:3

I remember going to Baguio with my family as a kid. Those days, we didn’t have nice highways like TPLEX and SCTEX yet. Thus, it would take eight to nine hours to get there. But the promise my mom gave was that I would get choco flakes from Good Shepherd. That helped me endure throughout the grueling journey.

In the same way, we need to be familiar with and keep reminding ourselves of the promises God gave us as His children. We need to keep them in our hearts. These will get us through the hardest of times.

2. Be confident of God’s presence. 

 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:5

Growing up in an all-boys school, fist fights weren’t uncommon. Especially during basketball games, we would get into fights. But as long as I had Bien, my teammate and good friend, I was okay. He was strong and courageous. Magaling manindak.

We have someone way bigger and stronger than just any teammate. And one thing is for sure: Because God is with me, I know I am going to be okay. In fact, nothing and no one will be able to stand before me—not even this pandemic. 

He is with me.

We have the God of the universe on and by our side. He is for us, not against us.

3. Embrace God’s precepts.

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:7 

God has given us principles to live by, not because He is a cosmic killjoy. He gave them to us so that we can live the full and abundant life that He has prepared for us.

Sin will destroy us and keep us from our destiny. Disobedience will deter us from our purpose. But His word will keep us aligned and calibrated to Him—that we may bring Him glory.

As we study His word, it will do us well to obey it. We are commanded to obey His word for our good, and ultimately, for His glory. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

His word doesn’t just teach us, it also trains us for war. This is critical. In difficult times, we can stand our ground and keep moving forward until we get to the other side. 

When the battle is long, the command is to be strong . . . 

. . . strong in His promises.

. . . strong in His presence.

. . . strong in His precepts.

 

Originally published in: http://paolopunzalan.com/2020/06/22/when-the-battle-is-long-gods-command-is-to-be-strong/

 

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The Author

Paolo Punzalan

Pastor Paolo is the senior pastor at Victory Fort Bonifacio. He and his wife, Jenn, have four kids and together, they love to speak about marriage, family, and parenting.

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