Life Is a Class in Character Building – Part One

Joshua 1: 8, 9

Jesus lovingly is offering you a set of circumstances, which if responded to properly, will build in you character that which is pleasing to Him and profitable for you.

Do you believe that? Whether you do or not is evidenced by the way you respond to what happens to you.

You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it.  In doing so you reveal your character. A little verse depicts the difference in people. Two persons looking out a prison window indicates how different people can respond to the same circumstance: 

Two men looked out bars, one saw mud, the other stars.

We were created by a loving God who intended us to look up and see the stars.  The Greek word for man “anthropos” means “the up-looking one.”

This little verse takes that point further.     
“Man cannot live until he sees
The stars through the cypress trees.”

The stars symbolize hope and the cyprus depicts sorrow.  Only when you can demonstrate hope amid sorrow do you have the character needed for life.  It is character pleasing to the Lord.

The O.T. character Joshua confronted character building circumstances in the face of adversity.  By studying him and his response, we can learn proper responses to adversity.

Moses had died.  Joshua, his assistant for years, emerged as God’s chosen leader.  Joshua put his foot on the platform of history so loudly that all ages echo with the tread.

The exhortation given him and the people he was leading indicates their state of mind. So, God said: “Be strong….” Literally, stop being weak, or don’t freak out.  As a follower of Jesus, you need to remember He said, “You shall receive power…”

Resultantly you can say, “I am strong in His strength.”

“Be of good courage…” Do you, like them, ever lack courage? Don’t. 

“Do not be afraid….” Literally, “stop being afraid.” 

“Don’t be dismayed….,” meaning, don’t quit.  The greatest barrier to faith that leads to excellence is the tendency to quit. Excellence is more than a wish, it is a pursuit that never stops.

Got it? Be strong, be of good courage, don’t be afraid, don’t quit. By following that formula you, like Joshua, can conquer the walled city you face.