In case you have been living under a rock, there are a lot of negative things going on in the world. It has gotten to the point to where I don’t even want to know what’s going on, because it all seems to be spiraling out of control. Every day there is a new update on chaos and turmoil happening somewhere in the world, and the coronavirus seems to dominate all the headlines. It appears to be all bad news, all the time. You don’t have to look far for an evil report.
All of this reminds me of a story in the Bible. The Israelites were on the verge of going into the promised land, and they sent spies ahead of them to see what they were facing. The report of the spies was not meant to make them afraid, but simply to give them information. But ten of the twelve spies came back with a negative report, and it changed the entire course of Israelite history.
In reality the Bible calls the report of the ten spies an “evil report.” Why was it evil? Because it was full of doubt and discouragement. The Israelites were not far removed from the plagues in Egypt that God brought against their enemies in order to bring about the deliverance of the young nation. They should have known that no matter what they faced God was in control. Victory was assured, not because the job would be easy, but because God was on their side.
Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, came back with a report that was full of faith and encouragement. They assured the people that they were well able to take the land that God had promised them. Yet Israel chose to believe the evil report of the ten spies. As a result, that entire generation perished in the wilderness and never saw the promised land, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.
What’s my point? Simply this: there are two reports that you can believe at this time. You can choose to believe that the world is full of doom and gloom, and that there is no way that God can accomplish what He wants to in your life. On the other hand, you can choose to believe that God is ultimately in control, and that no matter what happens He has His hand on your life. It’s all a matter of perspective.
I will say this. The governments of this world do not have the final say. It may appear that they do, but they do not. Governments come and go, and nations rise and fall, but God and His people remain forever. The only constant in this life is that you can place your faith, every single bit of it, in Jesus Christ. No one throughout all of history has ever been disappointed when they decided to fully and completely trust God. Results may not be immediate, but the narrow road is the one that pays in the end.
We are standing at the edge of the Jordan River. The promised land stands right in front of us with all of its promises and blessings. The question I have for you is this: whose report are you going to believe? Will you believe the news reports that only tell half the story, or will you believe the word of God that has never lied, and never will? I feel like quoting Joshua at this point: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Don’t become distracted, not when we are so close to the goal.
There is a world that needs the church to be the church. They don’t need us cowering in the corner, afraid of every little thing that comes our way. They need to see a people that are resolute in what they believe, and who trust the report of the Lord. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News say. All that matters is that God is in control, and He has the final say. Turn off the TV and dig into the word of God. It makes all the difference.