When Joshua was on his way to the promised land, God told him to be strong and very courageous. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you,He assured. I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Jos !:5) He told Joshua exactly what would lead to his success: being careful to obey the law Moses gave him, and meditating onHis Wordday and night.God commanded Joshua to be strong andcourageous, to not be terrified or discouraged. How? Why? Becausethe Lord his Godwould be with him wherever he went. (Joshua 1:5-9)
Times have changed in the U.S.
Things are different than they used to be. Things are shifting.Nothing seems reliable right now; nothing seems the same. So many are groping around in the dark trying to find their sense of place. So many losing their jobs and livelihoods, and so many are watchingwhat they have worked forall their lives slip away. People are hurting. People are looking for a place to move where their families have a better chance, a better future.
What I learn from Joshua is that we are not to fear. We are not to be discouraged as hard as that is. We are to be strong and courageous. We are to focus on that which will never change: the Living, breathing Word of God. We are to obey His call on our lives, whatever that may be. We are to pursue a relationship with Him. But even more than that, we are simply to understand where the source of our courage lies: in the fact that there is no place we can go where He will not be.We are notalone.
Courage is a choice.As the famous saying goes: Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgementthat something is more important than fear. AsMark Twain said, Courage is acting in spite of it.It is the understanding that something we believe in holds a stronger weight than the fear itself. Courage in the face of fear is the only kind of courage there is.
I will be with you whereveryou go, God told Joshua. I believe He tells us that as well. I am your God who will lead you through darkness; I am your God who will hold your hand as you enter new territory and go a way you have not gone before. I will be with you. I will never leave you. To me, that is comfort. That is strength. That is hope. And it makes me want to face the future of infinite possibilities with a steadfast spirit. It makes me want to put my face to the wind and be very, very courageous.
Whatever uncharted territoryyou may be facing, I hope you will remember Joshua. In obedience and devotion, in unwavering surrender and faith, he was prosperous and successful. And he was never alone. You will not be going a place where your Lord has never been. He will be with you every step of the way.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”