“I will not fail you nor abandon you,” says the Lord to Joshua (chapter 1) as He tells Joshua to take the people of Israel into the land that had been promised to them so many years before through Moses. God also tells him to be strong and courageous and obey all the Lord’s instructions keeping the law written on his heart and in his mind.
We are studying this scripture in light of the spiritual gift of faithfulness this week in our women’s Bible study. The Lord is so faithful to be with us, never leaving us. His grace is always present, albeit sometimes hard for us to discern. His mercy ever with us; but sometimes in the midst of our trials, we wonder, “where are you God?” We feel abandoned and alone.
The other lens of this study of faithfulness is friendship; God gives us a support system through the fellowship of other believers. Joshua, though the leader, had others alongside of him. He had been raised beside Moses and now taking the people of Israel into the promised land, he had the Lord and the officers of those people with him.
We, believers today, have our faith community. Some of these are the ones within our own congregations, but also believers in our greater community that share our faith in God. We flourish in good times and survive in times of trial with the presence of these we come to love. We depend on the Lord and we lean upon one another. A burden shared is one that is lightened. We offer words of encouragement from God’s word, brought to mind from our daily engagement and from long time practice of being with God and knowing him.
Personal time in God’s word and time with our fellowship groups keep us held in the times of life, praising in good and difficult times. The gift of faithfulness helps us keep community, growth and relationship in our spiritual journey.
The women (and men) I am engaged with in study and fellowship oftentimes don’t realize how they support me, as one of their leaders. I am not abandoned, nor forsaken, because I look around and see and receive the love of the Lord though smiles, a pat on the back, a card or a call. These always come at the most opportune moments. That’s God’s grace at work. The Holy Spirit at work.
God is always faithful; many times it’s the people he uses demonstrating his faithfulness to you and me. I pray that you see the faithful people in your life in community and friendships of those who walk life’s journey with you and know God is always present with you through his presence and theirs. God bless you dear faithful friends, known to me and those to become known through our faithful God.