When we first meet Joshua in Numbers along with Caleb as the only 2 spies that believed God at His word, in that they would be able to take the Promise land just as He said. It took a lot of courage to stand up for God when 10 other men were trusting in what they saw and not God at what He said He would do. They all saw the plagues in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, God had done amazing things before what would stop Him now. Joshua knew from past experience with God that He could do what He said he would do yet when it came time for him to become the leader of Israel 8 times Joshua was told to be strong and courageous.
So what changed? Why did Joshua need this reminder? The first time it was from Moses as he was passing the mantel of leadership over to Joshua. As leader for the past 40 plus years Moses knew what it was like to lead these people and how difficult they could be. He knew Joshua would have to be strong and firm with them and that he needed the courage that he showed 40 years ago in saying they could have taken the land back then. The next 6 times it God saying it to Joshua as He was preparing him to become the leader. Reminding Joshua that He will be with him.
As Joshua stepped out of his comfort zone and into the role of being the leader of Israel, what could be more uncomfortable than to tell them that the first city that they come to they were not going to fight but march around it for 7 days. This had to have taken all the courage that he could muster up. It was by his example of courage that they followed him around the walls of Jericho yelling and playing the horns. Courage that didn’t care what the people of Jericho thought about them. This was their Red Sea, their time to see God do something amazing in their lives, as the walls of Jericho fell on the 7th day.
The last time be strong and courageous was mentioned in Joshua was on the day the sun stood still and they were in battle. Joshua told the people to be strong and courageous and they will prevail. By being strong and courageous himself, Joshua was confident that the power of God that they had seen at work will continue to work.
So the next time you are feeling out of your comfort zone, weak and discouraged; remember that God is with you so be strong and courageous.