Finish Strong

Part 7: Legacy: The Impact of Joshua

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This has been a crazy year, yet our God is faithful. Think about all the ways He has provided for you this year. Thanksgiving should be more than one day a year. We are called to be thankful everyday of our life. Being thankful changes our mindset and attitude. Therefore, let’s start each day being thankful to our great God. What a difference Thanksgiving makes in each of us. We all have so much for which to be thankful - mainly Jesus, and our hope and eternal life in Him.


Being Thankful No Matter the Circumstances
For many, if not all of us, 2020 has been a very challenging year. It’s been a year of loss, sickness, difficulty, and uncertainty. We’ve had to navigate through a global pandemic, through transition and change, and through division in our nation. Our natural inclination may be to question why God allowed some of these circumstances to happen. However, despite the struggles that this year has brought, there is still much hope – and much to be thankful for. No matter what is going on in the world today, our God is and always will be on the throne, and we can trust Him. 

As we’ve studied the book of Joshua, we’ve seen the people of Israel consistently follow the Lord, disobey, then repent and return to God. They then experience God’s forgiveness, redemption, and faithfulness once again. However, regardless of the people around him, Joshua was faithful and trusted the Lord. Though he wasn’t perfect and did make mistakes, he left a legacy behind – a legacy that impacted the people then and impacted the generations to come after him. 

Joshua says in Joshua 24:14, But, as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. He wanted the people to know that he and his family would always serve God. There is a lot to be said of Joshua’s willingness and ability to praise God and follow Him even when he didn’t know what was coming next. He had a heart of gratitude and faith, and it was his leadership that brought the people into the Promised Land. He led them and was thankful no matter the circumstances, and, in turn, they were blessed by God.  

What the Bible Says about Being Thankful 
When we read through the story of Joshua, we read about Joshua’s leadership – he went to the Lord in prayer, He praised God regardless of the situation he was in, and he followed God all the days of his life. As we enter into this Thanksgiving season, throughout Scripture, we can see places where Christ-followers, like Joshua, praised God in all things. They chose to give thanks, knowing that God is the reason that they were blessed with anything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Again, we read that God’s will is for us to be thankful at all times. Even in a year like the one we have had, Scripture reminds us to give thanks. 

We also read this in Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Over and over, we are brought back to a place of thanksgiving. God’s Word tells us not to be anxious because God is the one who gives us peace and who will guard us from the things that come our way. Like Joshua, let’s draw near to God and remind ourselves of these truths found in Scripture when we find ourselves struggling to be thankful. Let’s turn to these places in God’s Word and thank God for His many, many blessings.  

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Whether this year brought you blessings and answered prayers or if it brought you challenges and fear, God is near to you. What matters now is how we respond to our daily circumstances. Do you look at your circumstances more than you do at Christ? Or, like Joshua, are you leaving a legacy of faith and gratitude behind for the next generation to learn from?

Think about all the ways that God has provided for you this year. Though Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect upon His provision, we should be giving thanks each day, humbling our hearts and being grateful for what we’ve been given because, ultimately, everything we have is just that – a gift. Being thankful changes our perspective and our attitude.

Start with thankfulness today. Shift your mind from focusing on your current situation in life to recalling all of the ways that God has shown up this past year. Start today, then continue to be thankful, and see how God molds and shapes your mindset. He was faithful to Joshua and the people of Israel hundreds of years ago, and He will be faithful to you today. 

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