This Week’s Scripture References: Joshua 1-2, 6, 8, 10-11, 23-24
This past Sunday we remembered the saints of our congregation, those loved ones who have impacted our lives and remind us that we are all the saints of the living body of Christ, the Church.Who are the saints in your life? Who are the people you look up to and want to be like? Who has helped to shape your life of faith?
All Saint’s Day also reminds us that we are also connected to the saints in scripture.Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Miriam, Ruth, Naomi, Elizabeth, Mary, Matthew, Mark, Luke, James, John, Stephen, Thomas, Peter, Paul, Philip, Bartholomew and others – The Patriarchs, Prophets, Holy Women, Evangelists, Apostles, and Holy Martyrs who have paved the way of faith for us.
This week we explore the story of Joshua. This week’s chapter is not an easy one to process. Battles? Bloodshed? Why? It can lead us to question and wonder about God. Leaning into those questions and viewing them within the whole context of the Old and New Testament can be helpful. But nonetheless, Joshua is a leader, a mentor, a positive model of faith and courage. The word saint may imply an expectation of perfection, but it is really not about being perfect. A saint is more about the evidence of God’s faithfulness observed in one’s life. Joshua certainly wasn’t perfect. Neither was Rahab. And yet God uses their stories of faithfulness to lead and guide our faith journeys. These saints were not perfect but they were faithful to God and found strength and courage in the challenges they faced by putting their trust in God.
Most of us are not strangers to battles.
Troubled teenagers, health issues, painful losses, loved ones struggling with addictions, fear, anxiety, depression…
People of faith know about battles. The saints in our lives help us to remember that we aren’t alone in our battles. As we observe how God has worked through the saints in our lives we grow in our understanding of whose we are and who God is. We learn from the saints who have journeyed before us that prayer helps us make it through the battles. And that God promises to always be with us. We can lean on God and trust in him because he can handle our questions and our battles.
How has God journeyed with you through your questions, your battles, and your ups and downs?
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
To listen to this week’s sermon, The Battle Begins, Sermon 2/4 in “Detour” The Story Mini-Series, click here!
For Family Devotions related to this week’s message, click here!
For more information and additional resources for The Story at Faith UMC, click here!