Updated: Jan 10
And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:32 NIV
A young girl, unaccustomed to traveling, was taking a train ride through the country, and it happened that in the course of the day her train was obliged to cross two branches of a river and several wide streams. The water is seen in advance always awakening doubts and fears in the child. She did not understand how it could safely be crossed. As they drew near the river, however, a bridge appeared and furnished away over. Two or three times the experience was repeated, and finally, the child leaned back with a long breath of relief and confidence.
“Somebody has put bridges for us all the way!” she said in trusting content. That is life. We fear so many evils, so many troubles look dark ahead, so many difficulties seem insurmountable as they loom before us; but as we advance, we find that there is a way through them. God has built bridges for us all the way.
When God told Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan, which He is giving to the Israelites, He expected them to be grateful, fearless, and obedient. After all, He delivered them from Egyptian bondage, opened up the Red Sea so they can travel on dry ground, and has been providing a pillar of fire by night to give them light, and a pillar of cloud by day to shield them from the heat of the sun. God sent them manna when they were hungry, and quail when they asked for meat.
Indeed, there was no reason for the Israelites not to trust God. He had done exceedingly and abundantly more they can ask or imagine. However, because the Israelites were walking by sight and not by faith, they did not fully trust God’s promise that they would inherit the promised land. Instead, when the men Moses sent to spy out the land came back, fear spread throughout the camps and the people refused to go forward to get their inheritance.
Many people are stuck on neutral in life because they are walking by sight and not by faith. When we walk by sight we are like the little girl in our illustration—we are cannot see the bridges that God has built for us over our troubled waters. We fear so many evils, so many troubles look dark ahead, so many difficulties seem insurmountable as they loom before us. However, as we activate our faith, we can be fearless trusting that God has built bridges for us all the way. Then, it does not matter the size of the giants we have to face. We will have the confidence to take hold of a future that is filled with hope.
Faith is the substance hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). None of us can see what God has planned for our future. We can’t see the blessings and burdens that await us in the future. But we can have the faith that all things will work together for our good, no matter how difficult they may be.
I have dedicated the first week of the year to focus on forgetting what is behind me so I can press toward the goal and win the prize that awaits us in the future. This is not an easy task, and we cannot do it if we are living by sight and not by faith. Remember, God did not bring you so far to forsake you. He has built bridges for us all. We just have to open our eyes of faith so we can press toward our future with the courage of Joshua.
What do you need to do to walk by faith and not by sight?
How can you help another brother or sister to walk by faith and not by sight?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please teach me how to look for the bridges that you have built over my troubled waters with the eyes of faith even when I cannot see them with my physical eyes. Help me to be fearless when many troubles look dark ahead, and many difficulties seem insurmountable. Give me the faith of Joshua and Caleb so I can take hold of my blessings no matter the giants I have to face.