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Faith When You Can't Feel God

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Bible Study for Ayanna Williams

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Joshua 1:6-9 - PART ONE IN COURAGE

The New Revised Standard Version God’s Commission to Joshua

6 Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

God Warns Joshua That Trouble Will Come

Joshua is in a role he has never done before
All he can draw on is what he has seen in Moses, what he has done in his previous role, and what God has now said
All we have is what we have seen in good Christian examples, what we have done previously, and what God’s Word tells us
When coming into a new season in life, it brings us new levels of trouble. God has already said it would be this way.
Joshua does not have his mentor anymore
a. What do you do when people you used to count on no longer are available or have answers for your problems?
He has so much pressure on his shoulders
a. This is what trouble feels like sometimes; not only dangerous things, but pressure can create fear because we don’t know how to handle it.

Strong & Courageous

Strong Basic Meaning: “We take as our starting-point the basic meaning “be/become strong,” from which all other meanings that are found can be derived.”
Hesse, F. (1980). חָזַק. G. J. Botterweck & H. Ringgren (Eds.), D. E. Green (Trans.), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Revised Edition, Vol. 4, p. 301). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Dictionary: “able to withstand great force or pressure.”
Preparing to stand despite being under stress, pressure or attack
Courageous Original Meaning: “to be strong”
Schreiner, J. (1977). אָמַץ. G. J. Botterweck & H. Ringgren (Eds.), J. T. Willis (Trans.), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Revised Edition, Vol. 1, p. 323). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Dictionary: “not deterred by danger or pain”
The act of Standing in the midst of stress, pressure or attack
WE MUST PREPARE FOR TROUBLE AND STAND WHEN IT COMES

“For the Lord GOD IS WITH YOU wherever you go.” - v. 9b

The Lord here is from the name “Yahweh,” the great God whose very name is to powerful for human utterance. Therefore the Hebrews crafted together the letters that in English are “YHWH.” They understood God to be so powerful that no person could speak God’s name and live. Yahweh was used in place of the Hebrew word Adoni
Yahweh: “The name has long been thought to be a form of the verb hāwāy, an older form of the Hebrew verb hāyāh, ‘to be.’”
Thompson, H. O. (1992). Yahweh (Deity). In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 6, p. 1011). New York: Doubleday.
GOD CLAIMS TO ALWAYS BE PRESENT

The God of the OT is a God whom one experiences. One believes in God; one reflects on the present situation, on what led to it, on the distant past, and one knows that God is at work in this process. The OT writers do not prove the existence of God scientifically for the modern scientist, philosopher, or historian. They know from experience that God exists. They reflect and are convinced that God initiates, sustains, and governs the universe, and that he directs history. They do not know an inert God.

4. I KNOW GOD BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE, BOTH PAST & PRESENT

PART TWO IN COURAGE

The New Revised Standard Version Solomon Instructed to Build the Temple

20 David said further to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.

COURAGE AND STRENGTH COME WITH ACTION

HOW CAN YOU DO ONE THING THAT DISPLAYS COURAGE AND STRENGTH TODAY?

GOD IS NOT ONLY PRESENT AND POWERFUL, GOD IS ALSO PERSONAL.

GOD LOVES ME AND IS COMMITTED TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME

FEAR, DISCOURAGEMENT AND DEPRESSION WILL COME, BUT DO NOT ACCEPT OR KEEP THEM.

GOD’S PRESENCE ASSURES US THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE HELP TO FINISH WE ARE CALLED TO DO.

PART THREE IN COURAGE

The New Revised Standard Version Triumphant Song of Confidence

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,

be gracious to me and answer me!

8 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”

Your face, LORD, do I seek.

9 Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger,

you who have been my help.

Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,

O God of my salvation!

10 If my father and mother forsake me,

the LORD will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,

and lead me on a level path

because of my enemies.

12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,

for false witnesses have risen against me,

and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD

in the land of the living.

14 Wait for the LORD;

be strong, and let your heart take courage;

wait for the LORD!

EVEN THE BELIEVER EXPERIENCES GREAT SORROW.

When you speak to God, what assures you that God answers?
When loneliness and silence are all you experience, persistence in God’s presence (through prayer, Scripture and application) remind us that God is always with us.
In our moments of challenge, abandonment and sorrow, God uses those situations to teach us if we have a heart to learn.

WAITING ON GOD DOES NOT MEAN STOPPING YOUR LIFE.

CONTINUATION AND EXPECTATION

Biblical waiting is the act of doing what we know God has already called us to and expecting further instruction from God for what God is calling us to now do or do differently.
Have you ever been impatient with God to answer your prayer? What could you replace your impatience with?
What are you sure that the Lord (through the Word, prayer or revelation) has instructed you to do? Are you still doing them? What things had you been doing for the Lord that you have moved away from? Why?
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