By Matt Capps
Our four-year-old daughter has become surprisingly afraid of walking into any dark room by herself in our house. As her father, it is somewhat disappointing. It’s not her fear that surprises me, but her lack of trust in my word. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her “you will be perfectly fine” or “there is nothing in that room waiting to overcome you,” she still hesitates to walk in the promise of my word.
It is funny how God uses these little experiences in our lives to teach us spiritual truths about ourselves. When it comes to acting on God’s promised word, I often act like my four-year-old: “God, I hear what Your word says, but I cannot see beyond my own circumstances. I really want to trust You, but I also want to know what is ahead before I step out in faith.” If we are honest, it is difficult to take God at His word. We are no different than Israel. When Israel moved through the promised land in order to take possession, they often viewed their circumstances through their own perspective rather than the eyes of faith.
In Joshua 17, we are given a description of the tribal allotments west of the Jordan River. As Israel moves in to take possession, they are confronted by the Canaanites who inhabited the land and had military machinery that was beyond their abilities in battle. Israel didn’t have chariots of iron like the strong Canaanites. How would Israel possibly conquer these advanced enemies? As God’s people look around, they complain that the land they were to possess was too inadequate to meet their needs. It became clear to them, from their perspective, that the land they were to settle in was not easily cultivated. How could they possibly dwell in the highlands and deserts?
But Joshua reminds them, “We have many people, because the LORD has been blessing us greatly (Joshua 17:14). Had they so easily forgotten that God would give them the land that He’d sworn to their fathers? If God would empower them to take possession of the land, then He would also ensure that they would settle there. And if they were to settle there, God would also make sure that it was sufficient to provide all their needs.
As we read Scripture, it is abundantly clear that not one promise from God to His people would fail. As Christians, how much more are the promises of God secure for us in Christ? Not only has Jesus promised to triumph over all of our enemies, but also to provide a deep rest in His providential hand. Even more, His promises will eventually lead us to our forever home with Him. An eternal home where we can settle and have all of our needs sufficiently met for all of eternity. If God’s hand is strong enough to save you, it is also strong enough to sustain you. So, the next time you find yourself in doubt or fear, learn to view your circumstances through the eyes of faith.