And the Lord said unto Joshua, fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land. Joshua 8:1 KJV

Joshua and the people of Israel had committed a terrible sin. They deliberately disobeyed God and suffered the consequences: failure, defeat, and death. But once they recognized their sin and dealt with it, God did not want them to remain in fear, but instead to move forward with confidence. When we have dealt with sin, God doesn’t want to keep us in fear, guilt, and discouragement, but to lift us to a place of confidence in Him so we might experience the victory He has for us. But the mere fact God gives us encouragement does not guarantee we will experience it. We must accept it! The possibility existed Joshua would continue to be afraid, discouraged, defeated, never go back to Ai, and never take possession of the land, so God encouraged Joshua to move forward again. At that point the only thing standing between Joshua and victory was his acceptance of God’s comfort.

Lord, how glad I am you do not continue to hold our sin against us after we have dealt with it before you. Once I am forgiven of sin, help me move forward with you again.