When I think of Joshua, I think of this phrase, 'be strong and courageous'. God instructs him many times to be strong and courageous. Sometimes we need to hear something more than once. In the end, Joshua gets it, and he instructs the people the same, 'be strong and courageous'.
God doesn't tell Joshua that he IS strong or courageous, but, 'BE strong and courageous'. It recalls to my mind the phrase, 'fake it til you make it'.
Sometimes you've got to walk in something, put on an act of having certain characteristics, til, after enough practice, you become like that. Joshua had plenty of opportunities to act brave and courageous. He had to lead an entire nation after their leader had died. Not only did he have to lead them, but he had to take them somewhere they'd never been, and had to lead them in battles with people they'd never met. No wonder God instructed him to be strong and courageous! Joshua had no idea what he was walking into, but God did!
Each time God tells Moses to, 'be strong and courageous', (Joshua chapter 1) the phrases are part of a sentence. They are not stand alone. Firstly God promises, 'as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.'
God's instruction to Joshua comes attached with a promise. A promise that as Joshua acts strong and courageous, God will be with him. There is a depth of companionship and loyalty that only God can and will give. Whatever you are called to, 'be strong and courageous' in, God will be with you, always.
Secondly, God advises, 'being careful to do according to all the law'. Success can be conditional to obedience. If you obey in strength and courage, and follow God's advice, it will go well. It will still be a battle, but you will move forward., you will be taking ground.
The reason to be strong and courageous, and obedient is emphasised in the third occurrence, 'Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.'
God is with you. Not in a scary, 'big brother is watching you' kind of way, but because He cares for you, and wants to support you in what you're doing and where your going. He knows this life is tough and full of battles, so He will be with you in them.
The command, 'be strong and courageous' is not a suggestion, it's an instruction. Sometimes in life you've gotta ride the storm, do what is out of your comfort zone and head into battle. That's when we need to be strong and courageous.
Being strong makes me think that it's being clear and firm with what your values are. What is it you're representing and what's the purpose of the conflict/battle/situation you're in? Make sure you're certain and do cannot waver. God is with you, make sure what you stand for is in obedience to Him.
Courageous is acting it out. Even when opposition comes, when you're tired, bruised and broken, courageously continue to fight for those values that you hold dear. Don't let yourself be weakened because it's hard, or it looks like you're failing. Be strong and courageous.
If you know God is leading you, you will enter the promised land. It won't then all be easy, because once you're there, there will still be things to overcome, but you know you're going in the right direction.