The past few days I’ve been doing a lot of pastoral counseling. As I’ve sat with folks and listened to the struggles and challenges they’re facing, I’ve noticed a common thread in each of their stories - and that is, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the obstacles of life. And when we feel overwhelmed, it’s hard to move forward in tackling the problems. I know that’s been true in my own life, and I’m sure it’s been true in yours as well.
As I was thinking through that this week, I was reminded of Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” This is a great promise from God that He will give us the strength we need to handle whatever challenges come up in life. So every day we have a choice: we can either focus on the obstacles in front of us, or we can stay confident in the truth that God will give us His strength to handle those obstacles. The key is, we have to believe that truth, and then allow God to lead us and guide us through whatever challenges we’re facing.
The Israelites faced this same situation when they first arrived at the borders of Canaan (Numbers 13). Moses sent scouts into the Promised Land to assess the situation. Ten of the scouts came back with reports that focused on the “giants in the land”. In other words, they focused on the obstacles. But two of the scouts focused on the promise from God that He would hand the land over to the Israelites. One of those scouts, Caleb, put it this way: “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30). He was focused on the power and promise of God, and not the size of the challenge. And in doing so, he gives us the example we need to follow.
We all face “giants” that challenge our faith, and our obedience in following God - giants such as a lack of time and energy, or finances and resources, or an abundance of fear and worry. Here’s the truth we need to hold on to: God wants us to be confident that He can and will pour His strength into us so that we are able to do whatever He calls us to do. So today, let’s take those “giants” that are intimating us, and keeping us from being faithful to what God’s called us to do, and let’s give them over to God to take care of. Let’s move forward in confidence - letting God build our faith as He pours His power and strength in us, so that we can carry out His good and perfect plans for us.