What Report Do You Believe?
Everybody is going to encounter problems in life, even the person who is in right standing with God. We can expect it because God said so in Psalm 34:19, but God promises also that He will be there for us and that He will rescue us. Not only will God deliver us, He wants to deliver us!
The state of the economy has played a significant role in the lives of many people over the last few years. People have lost their jobs and homes and some have diminished or completely emptied their life’s savings. Just watching the news can trigger some hopelessness.
Even though the reality is that the economy has affected our lives, dwelling on it won’t change the situation. We can’t be moved by things we see, like high gas prices, closing businesses, and negative bank balances. Our focus should be on the One who can change it all.
There is a lot of darkness in the world now. And if the only thing we’re feeding off of is negative television, negative news reports, and negative people, we’re going to be negative.
Thank God there are positive options also available through television, radio, music, books, and even magazines. When we take in negative information, we are influenced by it and ultimately participate in it by complaining and finding faults in others.
Let’s have a look at the story of Caleb in Numbers 13 and 14. Moses and the Israelites were traveling through the desert in search of the Promised Land. God told Moses that Canaan was the place designated for His people to inhabit. He asked Moses to send spies to inspect the land and its people. The land was already rich in resources and filled with everything they could possibly want or need.
When the twelve spies returned, they confirmed that the land was indeed flowing with milk and honey. The grapes were sweet and ripe and everything was plentiful. But soon their report became flooded with doom and gloom about the people who lived there.
All they could focus on was how big the people were. As a result, the spies feared they would be destroyed. They described the people in Canaan as giants! Rather than seeing themselves equipped for potential battle, the spies described themselves and their own people as small, defeated grasshoppers. The Israelites heard the report and began to stir. They constantly complained and were overcome by fear.
However Caleb, one of the spies, had a different report. He saw the same land and the same people the other spies saw, but he chose to see things from a positive perspective. Numbers 13:30-32
But the people were overcome with fear and began complaining to and about Moses. Rather than accepting the hope that Caleb provided, they chose to believe the negative report of the other spies.
Have You Missed Out?
How many blessings have we missed out on by choosing to focus on the negative? I believe one of the most valuable lessons we can learn from this story is the value of choosing a positive perspective. Had the Israelites chosen to believe Caleb’s report, they would have entered into the Promised Land in God’s timing.
Instead, they opted to believe all the negative things they heard, and, as a result, they were overtaken with fear.
The perspective we choose to take on is by which our circumstances generally determine the type of life we will lead and the results we will achieve. The results the Israelites received would have been far better had they chosen to trust Caleb’s optimistic perspective.
Instead they bought into the negative report, complained, and remained ungrateful. Canaan flowed with milk and honey just as God said. The spies confirmed that it was filled with everything they could even need or desire. Sure there were giants, but as Caleb reminded them, God was on their side. Their victory was guaranteed!
Being positive is a choice. We choose to see the glass as half full or we can choose to see it as half empty. Either way, it’s the same glass. Caleb, as well as Joshua, saw the glass half full while the other 10 spies saw it as half empty.
These great men of faith were able to see beyond the obstacles and embrace the destiny God had prepared for them. Although they were outnumbered, it was Caleb and Joshua’s optimistic view that earned God’s favor. He blessed them by allowing them and their descendants to live in the land.
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