They saw the same thing: giants, walled cities, and enemies that outnumbered them.
When the spies returned to Moses from scoping out the Promised Land, ten of them said, “Nope, we can’t do this. We’re doomed.”
Two of them said, “God’s got this. We CAN’T do this. But HE can.” (Numbers 13)
They saw the same thing: the host of the wedding had run out wine long before the celebration ended – a major disgrace.
The organizer of the event panicked, wondering what to do.
Mary said, “Talk to my boy and do whatever He tells you to do. He’s got this.” (John 2)
They saw the same thing: a hungry crowd, late in the day, with no way to feed them.
The disciples said, “We have to send them away.”
Jesus said, “You feed them”.
They said, “That would take half a year’s wages!”
But when He looked at the little boy’s lunch, He saw abundance. And He fed 5,000 men plus their families with just a few buns and some fish. (Mark 6)
They saw the same thing: howling winds, fierce waves, and a figure walking on water toward them.
After realizing it was not a spirit of some sort, Peter said, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water.”
The rest of the disciples stayed in the boat while their friend walked the waves with the Lord. (Matthew 14)
They saw the same thing: howling winds, fierce waves and the water like concrete beneath their feet.
But then Peter looked at his circumstances instead of Jesus. His rational mind tried to explain his irrational circumstances and he sank like a stone. At least he was smart enough to cry out to Jesus as he went down!
And Jesus reached out his hand and saved him from himself. Peter’s ability to walk on water had not changed in that instant – his focus had. (Matthew 14)
They saw the same thing: a barracks in a concentration camp, where they were imprisoned for rescuing Jews from Hitler, filled with fleas.
Big sister Betsy said, “Thank You, God, for fleas!”
Little sister Corrie said, “How can you thank Him for fleas?!?”
Betsy explained that the guards left their barracks alone because of them, freeing them to worship and share the love of God with the other women because of the fleas. (“The Hiding Place”, Corrie ten Boom)
They saw the same thing in England in 1836: orphans in need of a home.
Most people said, “The job is too big” or “Let someone else deal with that.”
George Muller, a local minister, decided to open a home for 30 of them – that eventually led to him caring for 10, 024 orphans in his lifetime, spread across five different orphanages – all without going into debt of any kind. (George Muller and His Orphans, Nancy Garton)
They happen, don’t they?
The cancer diagnosis.
The financial setback.
The “I can’t believe he did that!” moments.
The “Lord, how in the world can I forgive her?” wounds.
The “God, this need is huge and overwhelming” realities.
The question is, how will you respond when they happen to you?
Panic? “How am I going to solve this?! I don’t know what to do!”
Anger? “How dare You, God?! I thought You loved me!”
Self- pity? “Why do these things always happen to me???”
Or will you respond in faith?
“Wow, God! This is a mess. So glad You are in charge and are going to deal with it. You’ve promised to supply my needs – I am holding You to it. Looking forward to seeing what You do here.”
You have a choice in every circumstance.
You can focus on what is bad. I promise, there will be plenty to dwell on.
Or you can lift your head and set your eyes – and your heart – on God.
Marinating in His Word.
Surrounding yourself with His people.
Praising Him in the storm.
Focusing on His love, as manifested in the cross, instead of your circumstances.
Asking Him for the power to change your thinking.
Talking to Him about your need every time it crosses your mind.
And waiting expectantly for what He will do.
Where are you fixing your eyes today?
C. S. Lewis said, “We may think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.”
God is looking for people of faith.
Those who will stand confidently on the Rock of Ages, even while the storms rage.
Those who will cry out, “I believe – help my unbelief!” (Mark 9)
Those who will trust that the end of the story is good because the Author is good – and everything He does is right. (Psalm 25)
Will you honor Him with your faith today?
I promise you, the outcome will be worth it.
He’s guaranteed it:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“’And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:3-5a