Summary: Do we live our lives in fear or do we live our lives in faith? Scripture tells us to put our trust in God no matter what the circumstances.
Most of us never take advantage of God’s abundant resources. Eph. 3:20 in the Amplified Version says, "God is able to do superabundantly, far over and above, all that we dare ask or think. Infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams."
We never tap into the tremendous resources that God has made available to us.
After healing two blind men and restoring their sight, in Matthew 9:29 Jesus said: "According to you faith, it will be done to you." The key that unlocks all God wants to do in our lives is really simple: It’s Faith.
The Law of Expectations says that, basically, we get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see, we tend to feel what we expect to feel, we tend to act the way we expect to act, and eventually, we tend to achieve what we expect to achieve. Our expectations influence our happiness, they influence our health, they influence all aspects of our lives. Our expectations even influence our relationships.
There are two approaches to life and we get to choose. We can choose to live by fear, or we can choose to live by faith. We can be an optimist, or we can be a pessimist. It comes down to simply living by faith or by fear. Especially in these economic times, where are we putting our trust? Do we begin our day with renewed trust, with an optimistic attitude that God will direct and guide us through our day? I know what you’re thinking. Yeah Pastor Rich, but you haven’t been searching for a job for six months; you haven’t lost all of your savings because of Wall Street; you aren’t facing the devastation and turmoil of a troubled relationship. Well the truth is that everyone in this sanctuary has experienced crisis, and we have one thing in common. We have found comfort through our faith in Jesus Christ as we have endured each crisis.
The Bible is full of examples of people who have endured as we have discussed many times. Optimists really. People who approach life with hope and courage rather than with fear. An optimist says, “My cup runneth over, what a blessing!” A pessimist says “My cup runneth over, what a mess!”
Remember the life of Caleb? For you Bible Historians, this will be a good review, and perhaps there are some this morning who are not familiar with this man. He certainly is a great example for us all. Back in the Old Testament days, after Moses received God’s call that he would lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land, he gathered some men together for a specific purpose. In the Book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14, we read that the Lord spoke to Moses saying “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan (the Promised Land) which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”
So each of the original twelve tribes are represented and a leader from each tribe is appointed – the best of the best. Each name is listed and among them is a man named Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim and Caleb from the tribe of Judah.
Along with the other ten superstars, they were sent to spy out the land of Canaan to see what the land was like, so they would be prepared when they entered, whether the people who dwelled in the land were strong or weak, few or many. Whether the land in which they dwelled was good or bad, rich or poor, the cities small camps or strongholds. Moses said “Be of good courage and bring back some fruit of the land.”
For forty days and forty nights they stayed in the land and made their observations. When they returned they met with Moses and reported the following: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey and this is the rich fruit. Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong, the cities are fortified and very large, moreover, we saw gigantic people who would look upon us as though we were grasshoppers.” Therefore, we cannot enter the Promised Land. But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said “Let’s go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But Israel refused. Then both Joshua and Caleb pleaded with the people saying; “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. The Lord is with us, do not fear them.”