There are many distractions in our lives that can draw us away from God's truth and promises. Distractions that can rob us of our peace. Simply turning on the news can cause great discouragement and anxiety. Different circumstances that come into our lives can cause us to think wrongly and rob us of our peace. Certain trials may cause us to think that God no longer cares for us. There can be any number of things that may trigger alarm in our lives, but it is imperative, especially as Christians, that we learn to think rightly about all things that come into our lives.
I have recently attended a conference where one of the speakers challenged us to take a long view of things- to see the big picture rather than focusing on the immediate circumstances. I have thought much about that message, and wouldn't you know it, today when I opened up Oswald chambers book "Conformed To His Image," The very portion I read challenged the reader to take a far look. Basically Mr. Chambers said the same thing as the conference speaker did. Coincidence? I don't think so. God was reminding me of the same thing I want to challenge you with today; don't get bogged down and discouraged over your immediate circumstances, but learn to look at the "big picture."
In Numbers 13 we have the account of Moses sending out the twelve spies to observe the Land of Canaan. This was the "Promise Land," the land promised to the Israelites. God promised the Land to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3:8 "And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites." God also promised the Land to Israel in Numbers 13:2 "Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them." Therefore, the promise has been given. The Children of Israel were to possess the Land.
Once the spies returned from their mission, it was time for them to give their report. They confirmed everything God said about the Land. In verse 27 the spies stated "and surely it floweth with milk and honey..." But, they also reported that there were walled cities, giants in the land, and the people be strong (v.28). Unfortunately, ten spies declared that Israel could not take the land for the people "are stronger than we (v.31)." They were looking at the immediate circumstances, but they failed to believe God's promise.
Thankfully two of the spies were thinking properly. They had the "long view," or "far look." Caleb and Joshua trusted in God's promise! They considered the big picture! They trusted in God's promises and Sovereignty! They believed God would give them the Land! Caleb declared in v.30 "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." That is the right perspective friends. The obstacles did not phase Caleb or Joshua because they trusted in the big picture of God's work.
At times the circumstances of our lives are going to look daunting. We may not understand how things will work out, but these are times we must lean on God, His loving care, and his promises. Go back and read Hebrews chapter eleven. We have a list of people who all walked by faith. they were not perfect people, as a study of their lives would reveal, But they learned to look ahead- to have "the far look." Notice especially Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." We must learn to look at the "Big Picture" of God's working out of His will for this world and for our lives.
God is working out His plan for this fallen world. Things may look chaotic, but God is still on His throne. Psalm 47:8 "God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness." Revelation 21:5-6 "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (6) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." You are on the winning side dear Christian. Whatever trials or difficulties you are facing today, don't allow them to rob you of hope and peace. God is with you. Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Turn your troubles over to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for strength and a proper vision- the "far look." Don't become distracted by the circumstances of life. The Lord has a plan for you. Wants to use you. Wants you to become more like His Son. We are victorious in Christ. Look at the big picture of God's Word! Take some time and meditate on Psalm 1.