Wishful Thinking: I Wish Life Was...

February 12, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Joshua 1:1-9


Getting Acquainted

1) Pastor Tom asked us a week ago to fill in the blank in the phrase, I wish life was… How did you or would you fill in that blank?

2) Life is not always what we want it to be. We all face disappointments and are often introduced to this frustration at an early age. What is one of the disappointments that you remember from your days as a child? How did you get through that?

Getting into the Bible

3) Joshua is told twice in Joshua 1:1-9 that God would be with him in the things that he is asking him to do. Read the following passages and ask in what particular situations God has likewise promised to be with us.

  • Matthew 28:16-20
  • Hebrews 13:1-6

4) Joshua is told three times in our passage to be strong and courageous. What is the reason given in the text as to why he should adopt that attitude? Look at the following verses where that phrase is also found. In each passage, who is talking and to whom are they talking? What is the situation that makes this exhortation necessary? What is the reason given for being able to be strong and courageous?

  • 1 Chronicles 28:20-21
  • 2 Chronicles 32:1-8
  • Psalm 27:11-14

Working it out in Life

5) Joshua is told three times in our passage that God will give Israel the land that was promised to them. This reaches back to the time of Abraham (about 700 years earlier) and shows that God keeps his promises. What are some of the promises God has given to us in our time? What difference does it make in our daily life to know that God keeps his promises?

6) Pastor Tom offered the idea in the sermon that our longings for a more peaceful, less stressful and less demanding life point us in the direction of the gospel. This is the kind of life for which God created us and the kind of life that he has prepared for his followers. Do you believe this is true? How might this give us a better understanding of what the future life/eternal life is all about? Does this help you adjust your view of the present frustrations and stresses of life now?

Digging Deeper

7) God told Joshua that he would be with him in the task he had been given. This was not news, as Moses had told him the same thing before he died (see Deuteronomy 31:7-8 & 23). Still Joshua needed to realize this and act on it every day. How does God assure us of his presence now? What difference does that make to you on a daily basis?

Series title: Wishful Thinking

Message 1: February 12

Message title: I Wish Life Was…

Message Scripture: Joshua 1:1-9

Message summary: How would you describe your life? What do you wish life was like? It seems like most of us wish our lives were more peaceful and less stressful, complicated and demanding. If that sounds like you, there is some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that your circumstances might not change. The good news is that by God’s grace you can change!


1) Life: stressful, complicated and demanding

2) Help in the midst of a stressful, complicated and demanding life

3) The origin of our desires