In Joshua 4 the nation of Israel face the opportunity to end their wilderness wanderings, enforced because of the faithlessness of a previous generation, and they prepare to enter the land which God has promised to them.
Standing between the promised new life and the trials of the old life, flowed the mighty river Jordan. While we do not know the exact width of the river when they crossed over, it was a miraculous event and testified to the nations in Canaan that God was with Israel.
While there is much in the passage worthy of study and consideration I want to focus on the two groups that crossed, the priests and the people, and see what they can teach us about going through trials.
In Joshua 3, God instructed Joshua to tell the Priests to take the ark of the covenant and to step out into the river. They were the first expected to obey, the ones with no prior reason to believe and the ones bearing the ark, which was a testimony to God.
Once they stood in the river God made the waters stand up in a heap, and they walked out to the middle of the river. Joshua 4:10 tells us they “stood in the midst”. Imagine the priests simply standing, waiting and watching as the people hasted over. The priests had the opportunity to stand still and see and meditate on the miracle, the people hasted over, they rushed to the other side.
While trials and difficulties are hard and hurtful to endure, when we stand in the midst of our Jordan’s we have a great opportunity to see God work. Praying in those times is vital and can help in 3 ways.
- Prayer Gives Confidence of the Permission of God
- Prayer Gives Confidence of the Presence of God
- Prayer Gives Confidence of the Providence of God
When we pray, when we really draw near to the throne of Grace in a time of trial, God assures us that He has given us permission to walk the path we are on and that He has given permission for this trial to happen.
When we pray we draw near to God and know His presence. Understanding that we do not go through trials alone can give great confidence to the believer to endure until the end of the trial.
When we pray we can see the Providential care and plan of God. We can see God has a purpose in every hurt and a lesson for us to learn in every trial and need.
Next time you find yourself in a trial or perhaps if you are in a trial now, take time to stand in the midst of your personal Jordan, pray and see God work.
A final thought is this. The priests held the ark which was a testimony to God. The care, provision and power of God in this moment of need would stand as a testimony to those who saw the event. Understand that God has sent your trial, and God will enable deliverance from it or through it. Trials in the life of the believer stand as a witness, just as the ark in the Jordan, of the truths of the God we know, love and serve.