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Facing Life’s Obstacles

A devotional by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 20th

Joshua 1:1-9 Chapter 1 1 Now it came to pass after the death of Moses the servant of Jehovah, that Jehovah spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border. 5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

As Joshua stepped into Moses’ giant-sized sandals, he faced a tremendous challenge: bringing the Israelites into the Promised Land. The responsibility was huge, and we can surmise from the Lord’s repeated commands to “be strong and courageous” that Joshua was probably not feeling up to the task (Josh. 1:6-7; Josh. 1:9).

At one time or another, we all face obstacles that seem insurmountable. The question is, How will we respond? Some people try to push through or manipulate their way around the barriers, while others wallow in hopelessness and give up. But the Lord wants us to trust Him to remove each impediment.

Any obstacle that stands between us and God’s purpose is subject to His supernatural power. Most of us would readily agree that nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but fear and worry reveal our doubts. By focusing on the problem, we allow it to grow and block our view of almighty God.

Knowing the difficulty of Joshua’s assignment, the Lord assured him that he would be successful in completing the mission. God’s responsibility was to remove every hindrance that stood between the Israelites and the land He had promised to give them. Joshua’s job was to believe the Lord and carefully obey all His commands.

Obstacles are one way that our faith can grow. When you are confused and cannot see how God could work out your situation, do not walk away in defeat and miss His blessing. He wants to teach you His way of obedience, trust, and courage. Believe Him—He always keeps His promises.

Bible in One Year: Amos 1-4 Chapter 1 1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 2 And he said, Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. 3 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: 4 but I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, and it shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad. 5 And I will break the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith Jehovah. 6 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Gaza, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole people, to deliver them up to Edom: 7 but I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. 8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon; and I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord Jehovah. 9 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Tyre, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole people to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: 10 but I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. 11 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Edom, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever: 12 but I will send a fire upon Teman, and it shall devour the palaces of Bozrah. 13 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they may enlarge their border. 14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind; 15 and their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith Jehovah. Chapter 2 1 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Moab, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: 2 but I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet; 3 and I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith Jehovah. 4 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Judah, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah, and have not kept his statutes, and their lies have caused them to err, after which their fathers did walk: 5 but I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. 6 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Israel, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes- 7 they that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father go unto the `same' maiden, to profane my holy name: 8 and they lay themselves down beside every altar upon clothes taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of such as have been fined. 9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. 10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. 11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith Jehovah. 12 But ye gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. 13 Behold, I will press `you' in your place, as a cart presseth that is full of sheaves. 14 And flight shall perish from the swift; and the strong shall not strengthen his force; neither shall the mighty deliver himself; 15 neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver `himself'; neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself; 16 and he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith Jehovah. Chapter 3 1 Hear this word that Jehovah hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities. 3 Shall two walk together, except they have agreed? 4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? 5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is `set' for him? shall a snare spring up from the ground, and have taken nothing at all? 6 Shall the trumpet be blown in a city, and the people not be afraid? shall evil befall a city, and Jehovah hath not done it? 7 Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets. 8 The lion hath roared; who will not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? 9 Publish ye in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold what great tumults are therein, and what oppressions in the midst thereof. 10 For they know not to do right, saith Jehovah, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. 11 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: An adversary `there shall be', even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be plundered. 12 Thus saith Jehovah: As the shepherd rescueth out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued that sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed. 13 Hear ye, and testify against the house of Jacob, saith the Lord Jehovah, the God of hosts. 14 For in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him, I will also visit the altars of Beth-el; and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. 15 And I will smite the winter-house with the summer-house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith Jehovah. Chapter 4 1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, that oppress the poor, that crush the needy, that say unto their lords, Bring, and let us drink. 2 The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that they shall take you away with hooks, and your residue with fish-hooks. 3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every one straight before her; and ye shall cast `yourselves' into Harmon, saith Jehovah. 4 Come to Beth-el, and transgress; to Gilgal, `and' multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, `and' your tithes every three days; 5 and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill-offerings and publish them: for this pleaseth you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah. 6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 7 And I also have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water, and were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: the multitude of your gardens and your vineyards and your fig-trees and your olive-trees hath the palmer-worm devoured: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I have made the stench of your camp to come up even into your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 11 I have overthrown `cities' among you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a brand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; `and' because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought; that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the Earth-jehovah, the God of hosts, is his name.


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