Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sour Grapes

"That won't work."  "That's not the way we do it."  "We'll never win."  "This really stinks!"  "Why are things so difficult?"

There are always naysayers in every group.  They are people who always see the glass as half empty.  They are negative and complain.  No matter what you do, they will see something wrong with the plan.  And unfortunately, this seems to be the majority of people in this world, even among believers. 

The Israelites were like this as well.  After wandering in the desert for years, they finally arrived at the edge of the land God had promised them.  Twelve scouts were sent in and returned with fruit from the land, as well as a great report of the possibilities there.  However, they also returned with a report about the people living there.  In order to settle in the land that God was giving them they would have to defeat some very strong and well-fortified people. 

The passage in Numbers 13-14:1-10 tells this story and I would encourage you to read it.  One scout, Caleb, stood alone in his ability to see what God could do and spoke up about it.  Ten of the scouts became so negative that they stirred the people up to the point that they were ready to stone the leaders.  God had to step in and intervene.

What was different about Caleb?  What made him able to look at the same circumstances and assert, "We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it?"  Why did he have faith when the others did not?

Perhaps it was his ability to remember what God had done for them in the past.  Maybe he was able to look past the obstacle and see the end result of stepping out in faith.  Maybe Caleb was just obedient.  God said, "I am giving you this land" and he believed God kept his promises.  Whatever it was, he was rewarded for his courage.  In fact, God struck down ten of the other scouts.  Only Caleb and Joshua were left alive.

God doesn't generally strike us dead for being negative nowadays, but I can attest that your life will be better and you will go much further if you remain positive and joyful in the face of trials.  It's important to trust God even if it means standing alone in a crowd of negativity.  As you walk forward in faith, and know that you can certainly conquer whatever the obstacle with God's help, your life will be a witness to those around you.  Instead of looking at the circumstances and wringing your hands and whining, step out in faith and believe that the Lord will overcome whatever it is.

Don't be a sour grape.  Be the grape that brings sweetness to those around you.