“The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11, CEB).
I often take my kids to the skating rink to roller skate. Since they are still learning to skate, I tell them to keep their heads in front of their skates. Then, if they fall, they will fall forward and can catch themselves on their hands and knees and can get back up and continue skating. If they fall backward on their head or back, they risk hurting themselves and not wanting to skate anymore.
I’ve spent much of my career trying to understand how people learn. And one thing I’ve learned about learning is that some of the best learning occurs from failing. For example, it’s easier to learn how to skate when you know how to fall.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!” (Joshua 1:9, NASB).
After Moses died, God commissioned Joshua to take leadership and military command over Israel and lead Israel into the promised land. But there were many evil and unfriendly people inhabiting the land that God promised to Israel. So, God assured Joshua of success in conquering the land for Israel because He would be with Joshua wherever he went.
It’s almost like God was giving Joshua a pep talk before the battle started because three times in this passage God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous” (vs. 6, 7, 9). And then God’s admonition to Joshua is repeated by the officers of Israel’s army to reinforce God’s command (vs. 18).
“Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:5, NLT).
Uzziah became king of Judah at sixteen years of age. Though a young king, Uzziah was faithful to God: “He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done” (vs. 4).
“The Israelites were subdued at that time. The Judahites succeeded because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (2 Chronicles 13:18, HCSB).
We spend a lot of time and effort trying to understand what God is saying to us through His Word, the Bible. Sometimes the Bible actually makes it real easy for us to understand what it is saying and how to apply it to our lives.
“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18, ESV).
This verse is one of my favorites. Moses is preaching to Israel and preparing them to enter the promised land.
He reminds them of all God has miraculously done in bringing them out of Egyptian slavery and during their wilderness wanderings over the last forty years.