FIRST POINT WHEN DEALING WITH ANY PROBLEM
The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
We live in a world where we spend all our time solving problems. Business is solving problems. We are employed to solve problems. We work hard to make money to solve problems. Education is being taught how to solve problems. Exams are problems you solve and receive a grade for it. Professionals are people who are trained to solve problems in a particular discipline. Relationship is where people come together and agree to solve their common problems. What any human being needs to learn is how to solve problems. Solving problems is the business of life. Our text today gives us the first point to consider when dealing with any problem.
Joshua had led the Israelites to the Promised Land. They had destroyed Jericho at God’s command. They had also destroyed the city of Ai and many other cities. The news of their success reached many other cities and kingdoms that they were yet to destroy as God commanded. Gibeonites decided to reach an agreement and cooperate with Israelites so that they are not destroyed. The Amorite kings, who were also yet to be destroyed after Gibeon, were alarmed and angry at the decision by the Gibeonites to cooperate with Israelites. Five Amorite kings gathered together and went to attack Gibeonites. Gibeonites asked for help from Israelites led by Joshua. God spoke to Joshua in our text today and gave him the first point to bear in mind when dealing with any problem. If God is with you, do not be afraid!
War is a fearful thing. God tells Joshua, do not be afraid, I am with you, I have given them into your hands. You will win, but do not be afraid. God didn’t begin by telling Joshua how many soldiers to take. God didn’t tell Joshua which strategy to use. God didn’t tell Joshua what weapons to carry. God first tells Joshua, do not be afraid. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
Even in instances where God gave war strategies to be used, He still ordered the leader and the people not to be afraid. Joshua chapter one, when God appoints Joshua to replace Moses as leader of Israel, He tells him, do not be afraid. God calls Gideon and tells him not to be afraid, Judges 6:23. God tells Gideon to reduce his army by sending home anyone who is afraid, Judges 7:3. Several times Jesus told His disciples, do not be afraid. Matthew 6:34 Jesus tells us do not worry about tomorrow. You can’t address a future you are afraid of, Jesus forbids us against such fears that bring worry. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
God tells Joshua, I am with you and I will give you victory. But God also tells him, do not be afraid. It is possible to be afraid when God is with you, because you lack faith. Weren’t the disciples afraid in the storm at sea yet Jesus was with them? It is possible to be afraid even when God has assured you victory. Didn’t all disciples desert Jesus when He was arrested, yet He had assured them that He will be tortured and killed but He will resurrect? Being with God and assurance of victory is not enough, we must conquer fear. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
When God tells us, do not be afraid, He is telling us to actively address the problem of fear. Recognise that we are afraid. Fear is when the mind is strongly considering to concede defeat in the face of a problem. Fear is the last step before surrender and giving up the struggle. Fear is self defeating. No weapon, no strategy and no resources can be of any use to someone who is afraid. One who is afraid may have everything in their favour and everything they need, but they have conceded defeat and have no will to make any further efforts. Unless fear is addressed, all other strategies and resources are wasted. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
If God is with you. If what you are doing doesn’t contradict what is taught in the Bible, God is with you. If you are praying about it, God is with you and will also give a proper response on what to do. If you have consulted about what seemed to be a grey area and you are now sure from sound advice that this is the right way to go, then God is with you. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
Pray about your fears. Read on how to address fear. If the fear is too much, visit experts who can help you address your fears. Analyse what exactly makes you afraid. Point at the exact thing that causes you to fear and consider what you can do about that very thing. If you can do something, do it. If you can’t do anything about it, trust God with the outcome. Are you afraid of the worst possible outcome? Can you do something to prevent it? If yes, do it. If no, do your best and leave the answers with God. If you are afraid of the worst possible outcome, develop a plan of what you will do when you fail, an exit strategy. The existence of a plan of what to do when you fail reduces fear. Daniel 3:15-18, The three Hebrew men told the king that if they are not saved from fire, they are still willing to die for their faith in God. That was their exit strategy. Plan A incase of victory. Plan B incase of failure. Therefore we don’t fear the outcome. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
Fear is doubting God. Fear is thinking God will abandon you at the critical time. Such fear can only be addressed by regularly studying the Bible prayerfully and building faith that God has never abandoned anyone of His people. This is why we need to daily read God’s word and build faith in God, so that, at the hour of need, that faith will come in handy, when we must trust God with outcomes. When we are sure God will never leave us, we won’t be afraid. When we know that even when it seems God has allowed bad things to happen, He will bring victory at last, we will not be afraid. Fear exposes us as people who don’t trust God and have no faith in God. Fear shows that your Bible study and prayers have not build enough faith depth in you. Fear is a call for us to prayerfully study God’s word and trust Him with outcomes. Fear is lack of faith in God. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
If God is with you in that threatened job, do not be afraid. If God is with you in that shaky business, do not be afraid. If God is with you in that big risk start up, do not be afraid. If God is with you in your loneliness and advancing age, do not be afraid. If God is with you in this sickening relationship, do not be afraid. If God is with you as you plan to break up and move on peacefully, do not be afraid. If God is with you in this exam that you have studied for but still don’t get it very well, do not be afraid. If the medical report is setting a date for how long you are around, remember you can die earlier of other causes or you may be stronger and go beyond that date, exact dates are with God, do not be afraid. Fear lowers immunity and exposes you to more infections and complications, for your own sake, do not be afraid. First point when dealing with any problem, if God is with you, do not be afraid!
Dear God I pray for only two things today, assure me of your presence as I face any problem and secondly save me from fear. Give me courage, in Jesus name, Amen!