"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." -Deuteronomy 31:8
The Israelites were discouraged. After Moses had sent Joshua and 11 other men to explore the Promised Land for forty days, ten of them came back with a bad report, and the people were upset.
"All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?'" -Numbers 14:2-4
Joshua and Caleb were the only ones with a positive outlook. "Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, 'The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.'" -Numbers 14:6-8
How easy is it to look at a situation with natural eyes instead of looking past the challenges and seeing with eyes of faith? Both Caleb and Joshua had faith in their God that He was going to do all that He said He would do. They were living based on God's promises, not on what they saw. So, when they saw the size of the giants in the land, they were not discouraged. They had faith in God that He was greater. But, Joshua also knew that the Israelites had to get their hearts in the right place in order to ensure God's blessing. "Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." -Numbers 14:9
How often do we miss what God is doing because we see our situations as bigger than Him? Winston Churchill, British politician known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II once said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Let us be "faith optimists", and allow God the opportunity to work when we think the obstacles are insurmountable. God delivers on His promises -- always! Our part is having faith, trusting that He is bigger and that He has our best in mind. Our God never fails!