Facing the Giants
FACING THE GIANTS
As I was recently sitting at our local dental school, waiting for my son who was having some work done, I noticed the newspaper sitting on a chair across from me. Since I had lots of time to spare, I walked over, picked it up, and began to read.
It seemed like each article I read was more dreary then the one before. Before I knew it I was meditating on the terrible condition and plight of our world.
· Gas prices continue to rise
· The war in Iraq and Afghanistan
· The failing economy
· College tuition's rising
· The upcoming election
· And of course all the hideous crime stories sandwiched in-between.
OK, I suddenly began to feel like the Israelites might have felt as they stood on the edge of the promise land. I was not seeing the blessings God, but only the GIANTS that were everywhere! I began to sympathize with the Israelites because I could see how all the bad things they were facing, and the things they saw must have overwhelmed their faith to possess the land.
Now if the world conditions all around me were not bad enough, I thought about my own personal giants. For me it’s the giant of fear and unbelief. God instructed the Israelites to simply explore the land. He already knew what was out there and what they would be facing. However, He wanted them to pass the test of “trust and believe”. Simple enough you would think, BUT…
In James 1:2 the Bible says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
One thing I learned early on in my Christian walk was that when God is up to something really great in our lives it usually begins with difficulties. Somewhere in the midst of impossibilities and problems God is there waiting for us to take those first steps of faith. He will guide us through these times of testing, but it takes courage to make that first step.
James Buckham wrote:
“Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber of a character, but strengthen it.”
I don’t think any of us wants to take 40 years of wandering around in circles of unbelief and fear. I want to experience God’s greatness and His ultimate purpose for my life. I find whenever I measure the obstacles and challenges against God’s awesome provision, the scale always tips in His direction. Once my focus is back on the greatness of God, I begin seeing those giants just as they really are – grasshoppers.
God is always calling us out of our comfort zone and challenging us to go further and deeper than we would in the natural. So today I want to ask you, “Who do you want to be like, one of the two spies who saw how GIANT their God was, or like the other ten who only saw the giants?”
As I finished reading the paper I asked myself, “Whose report will you believe?” I determined that I would put my trust in God’s promises in spite of the obstacles. And like James the apostle wrote, I set my goal to become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Joshua and Caleb took a risk that day as they proclaimed before all the people that they should go over and possess the land. If they could see the victory, so can we! Let’s take our stand, forget the naysayers, and set out to cross that Jordan River. It is a good land, flowing with milk and honey.
Thoughts to ponder:
Have you ever faced a time when you felt the odds were against you and hope was hard to find?
Have you came along side of someone and helped them find something positive in the difficulties they were facing?
Lord I pray for my sisters reading this now. If anyone is in a tough place, where hope seems so unattainable that you would allow them to see how much bigger you are then the circumstances they are facing. Remind them of your faithfulness and your great love for them. Give them eyes to see beyond the giants they face today and courage to keep believing. In Jesus name, amen.