“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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