“Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. ‘Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it!’” (Numbers 13:30 NLT)
“They can conquer who believe they can.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Poise is rare. Very few people remain calm in chaos. The poisonous majority report caused panic. Reconnaissance revealed a rich, fertile soil. A team transported a cluster of grapes from the milk-and-honey land, but cowards kept shaking because of phantom giants. Intimidated by walled cities, would-be warriors became grasshoppers.
Bad press discourages people. Chasing possibilities, they wonder—“How will it all turn out? Will we survive?” When a formidable situation makes your heart pound, take a deep breath—God’s Spirit will soothe your jangled nerves. When you are worried, the Lord is your Comforter. When you are paralyzed by fears, He is your Encourager. When you vacillate with uncertainty, He is your Counselor. He repairs frayed outlooks and heals hypertension. Even if stormy waters lie ahead on your voyage, you can sail through troubled seas on an even keel because He is at the helm.
“What is the use?” skeptics question. “Why try to do what is right? It does not pay to be good.” But defeatist thinking is a downward spiral of moral rottenness and spiritual ruin. You cannot speak for everyone, but make the personal choice of courage—take “the road less traveled.”
Christlikeness is the Christian’s promised land. We still have a long way to go to fulfill heaven’s dream for our life—to be like God’s Son. We are not totally mature, but we are in the process of growing up. We are not pure gold, but we are in His crucible.
Positivism is a by-product of faith in God. Doing “the impossible” is His everyday work. A “can-do” attitude tackles tasks the incredulous would never dare. With Christ’s help, we are strong enough for everything He assigns. His cross is a plus sign. His company is the secret to surviving any situation.
Without God, we cannot win; with God, we cannot lose. Faith flourishes the Holy Spirit sword and slays giants of defeatism. Faith uses God’s infinite power as a battering ram to demolish walls of pessimism. We do not fight alone—God is with us on the front line! We trust the Living Lord, the Victor over sin and death—so we can relax, assured we will ultimately share Christ’s victory. “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark” (Rabindranath Tagore).
By faith, we rejoice in our eternal partnership with the risen Lord. In joy, we re-voice our Spirit-inspired optimism!
Johnny R. Almond
Interim Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church; Fredericksburg, Virginia
This devotion based on Day 83 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity