“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11
Most of us are familiar with the story of Moses.
God promises an amazing future for Moses and his children called The Promise Land—a.k.a. The Land of Milk and Honey— which certainly sounds like a prosperous plan. So, twelve men—one from each tribe of Israel—had been selected to check out the land and return with a report (Numbers 13). When the Israelite spies stood at the edge of their promise, they could see the journey ahead of them. These men had undoubtedly witnessed miracles such as deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and manna falling from heaven. But instead of feeling the excitement that they would finally inherit the promise God had given them, they were filled with terror, paralyzed by what was before them. Can you imagine?
God promises an amazing future for Moses and his children called The Promise Land.
The spies came back with two things: fruit from the beautiful land “flowing with milk and honey” in one hand and fear in the other. The fruit was a symbol of the goodness of the land God had promised them. But in their hearts, all they could see was an impossible situation in a land of giants and fortified walls. Waves of doubt clouded their memory of all the Lord had done for them.
The Israelite’s fear was greater than their faith. Can you relate?
I don’t know about you, and I hate to admit it, but I can identify with the Israelite spies. Even now, after all, I’ve seen, I sometimes hold the fruit of God’s faithfulness while simultaneously gripping fear of an uncertain future.
Only 2 of the 12 spies, Joshua and Caleb, believed they could take the land.
They trusted it was theirs to inherit. Ultimately, however, the other ten spies filled the Israelites with enough fear that they dissuaded the people from moving forward into the Promised Land. Their fear was bigger than their faith, and that decision cost them. After almost 500 years of Egyptian captivity, now they would wander the desert for 40 years. This should have been an 11-day journey, folks.
When the wandering was complete, the children of God stood at the edge of freedom behind Moses’ successor, Joshua. He stood on a precipice, in the same place he’d stood years before after the spies’ initial expedition into the Promised Land. Joshua knew the truth—the Israelites had been released from captivity and slavery, but they had not received their promise.
They had not received their whole freedom, not yet.
You see, the land was still full of giants. The land was still filled with uncertainty. The land still contained impenetrable enemy walls. But the promise of God remained true. This time, the Israelites walked into that promise, as frightening as it may have seemed. And this is what God calls us to do, too.
God has promised if we trust His plans, He will, in fact, prosper us, give us hope, and a future.
Is this easy when often we cannot see what God has in store? Of course not. It requires faith. Like the Israelites, we can be in danger of forgetting all that God has already done for us.
The issue isn’t about God’s ability to keep His word to us, but whether we’ll trust Him to lead us to the blessed future He has for us.
What ways can you trust in the plans God has for you even when you cannot see them? Here’s a suggestion. Make a list of God’s blessings like your family, friends, church, health, etc. As you write, thank God and ask Him to help you trust Him with your future.
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Trusting in God’s promises seals the deal, Beckie. Is it easy? Well, the Israelites certainly demonstrated that it was not. They, too, it seems, as are we, could be too easily swayed by the fickle promises of the world, failing to rely on the everlasting promises the Lord gives us. May we be forgiven those times when we didn’t follow God’s calling due to fear of worldly retribution. Been there, done that, and it is NOT a place you ever want to be, believe me!
Lord, may we put our trust in You for everything!
Blessings, my friend!
Amen, Martha! I stand in agreement with the prayer to trust the Lord for everything! After all, He has never let us down.
Thanks for your comment, my friend. Blessings and hugs!
“I sometimes hold the fruit of God’s faithfulness while simultaneously gripping fear of an uncertain future.” Me too, Beckie.
What a great reminder that when there’s “still” giants in our life or unsettling circumstances or uncertainty, the promises of God “still” remain true.
Karen, Yes and amen! This is why KNOWING Scripture really helps. How can we lean on His promises if we don’t know them?
Thanks for your comment, my friend.
Beckie — nice post – I must admit there have been times I have not trusted as I should – I let my ego take over at times. I know I trust Him and this post confirms that for me . Trust is hard at times but I know I’ve grown over the past three years .
Del, I’m right there with you, my friend. I’ve struggled with trust because of ego and fear. BUT, I’m learning and growing. I’m so thankful that God’s mercies and love are new every morning.
Thanks for taking the time to share.
This is one of my favorite stories in Scripture–well, maybe “favorite” isn’t the right word. It’s a story that constantly challenges me. You are exactly right. Their fear was greater than their faith. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of God’s desire to help us overcome our fears and enter into His promise for our lives.
Joshua, I know what you mean. I’m challenged each time I revisit this story. Often, the Lord has taken me back to read it once again, and each time I learn something new. Isn’t His Word amazing?
Thanks for taking time to share, my friend.
God bless you and yours!
I love this line: “I sometimes hold the fruit of God’s faithfulness while simultaneously gripping fear of an uncertain future,” because it’s so accurate for me too! I sometimes shake my head at the Israelites and think, “How could they doubt God after all He’s done for them ….”, and then I chuckle at myself because I do the EXACT same thing!
Julie, I’m glad you could relate. I find the more I meditate on Scripture and counting my blessings, the more my trust level goes up. Writing about it helps, too!
Thanks for commenting, dear sister.
I confess–sometimes my fear is greater than my faith. I’m sure we can all identify with the Israelites. Change is hard, the unknown is scary. How often do we hold back from doing something that we know is the right thing (apologizing to someone we’ve hurt, admitting to a mistake, visiting a nursing home, accepting a task at church, etc) because we are afraid to step out in confidence. But, you’ve reminded us–we can hold tight to God’s promise. He has THE plan for our future.
Katherine, I love your list in the parenthesis above. You are so right on!
I’m glad this post served as a reminder to hold tight to God’s promises.
Blessings to you, dear sister!
Great lesson Beckie! It is hard to trust at times, but I know God always has my best in mind. Just wish I could see what He sees!
Thank you for this post. Your suggestion at the end is especially meaningful as whenever I stop and remember God’s faithfulness to me in the past, my heart is encouraged about His care for me in the future. Confidence erases fear!
Sandra, thanks for taking time to comment. Yes and amen—God is ever faithful!
Blessings to you and yours 🙂