Do you have an area in your life today where you’re tempted to doubt God’s goodness?
Life is hard. There are challenges we face.
For some of us, it’s health. For some of us, it’s in the relationships we have. Maybe there’s a lot of conflict either with a friend or a neighbor or a family member. But things are just really tough. And maybe you’re in a situation that you just don’t like.
In the Exodus, the Israelites constantly complain about not having enough, things not being good enough, life not being easy enough.
For the Israelites, God works all of these signs and wonders. Miraculously redeems them.
Brings them to the edge of the Red Sea.
They complain. “Why are we going to die out here?”
Miraculously God parts the waters. Brings them across. Wipes out the greatest army the world had ever known.
They get into the wilderness and they don’t have food.
“Why were brought out here to die?”
God provides food.
They don’t have water.
“Why were we brought here to die?”
God gives them water.
Blessing after blessing after blessing. And continually losing sight of all of that.
They send out scouts who SEE the land and they’re like “Woah, this place is even better than advertised. This place is amazing!” But the people hear about the people in the land, “we can’t beat them. We can’t do it. It’s too much, it’s too hard.”
It’s easy to judge them. To think, “Wow, the Israelites just didn’t get it.”
But we often have more in common with the Israelites than we like to admit to ourselves. Their responses are so…human.
What is your view of the Lord’s blessing? Is it gratitude and thankfulness?
Or are you never happy because it’s never enough, never close enough to what you want? Never what you think you need?
Eye on the prize.
It’s what the Israelites never figured out during their wanderings. They didn’t learn how to enjoy God.
God can be enjoyed in all circumstances and situations.
We don’t have to wait until we get through a certain challenge. We don’t need to wait until we get to a certain level of Chrristian maturity. We don’t need to wait to enjoy God. We can rejoice in his goodness and majesty and dominion and holiness today.
We can and we must.
Or else, we’ll be like the Israelites. Continually seeing the blessings of God and never enjoying any of it because we always have something else to look at to worry about.
They were walking in the wilderness but were so often not really walking with God.
Let me ask you: how’s your Spiritual life today?
For the Israelites on their wanderings, they had such little joy in God, trust in God, and love for God.
That’s not the life God wants us to live.
In time where you’re struggling and not finding joy and delight in God, and when God seems distant to you, how are you doing, Spiritually?
How’s your devotional life?
I’ll go out on a limb that it’s struggling, that you’re probably not taking it as seriously.
Am I wrong?
If you look back on times where you Spiritually snuggled, were those also the times when you were most serious about pursuing God daily?
It takes a daily pursuit.
You can’t take your foot off the gas.
But it can be hard sometimes. It’s hard for me sometimes.
It needs to be part of our daily life. Spending time in God’s word, spending time in prayer, having a worshipful heart towards God. And it needs to be part of our life to have a mind that is set on the things above, a mind that is devoted to God, the things of God, meditating on God, rejoicing in God and in his goodness.
Clearly the Israelites struggled with that on their wanderings. Always finding reasons to complain about what they had been given. Never happy.
That’s not saying it’ll all become easy.
But we can experience all of that with God or without God. Rejoicing in God or complaining about God.
How are you doing today?
God needs to be the focal point of your day.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.