Are you an optimist or a pessimist? An optimist looks at a glass of lemonade and sees the glass as half full and is thankful to have something to drink. A pessimist looks at the same glass and sees it as half empty and thinks they’ve been cheated out of a full glass of lemonade; what they have won’t be enough to quench their thirst; and wonders why this always happens to them.
In Number 13:1-33 Moses called the twelve tribes of Israel together to send spies into the Promised Land to come back and report what they saw. He chose one man from each tribe, realizing everyone may see things another overlooked, so they’d have a better picture of what was in store for them.
In Numbers 14:23 the spies discovered the amazing provision God had for them. “When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.” The plants growing in the Promised Land were amazing and abundant, typical with the way the Lord provides [John 10:10]. The Israelites had to get excited as they learned the Lord didn’t just provide food for them in the Promised Land but He provided exceedingly and abundantly more than they would ever hope or ask [Ephesians 3:20]. Then the wheels fell off the bus in verses 27-29. The spies began to report the crops weren’t the only thing huge in the territory, but the people were also. They were freaking out. Going into that land would be suicide. It was like letting the air out of a balloon. The excitement of the people left as quickly as it came and they were prepared to walk away empty handed. What a picture they had painted for all to see. There was only one problem with the picture….it was just one point of view…a pessimistic point of view. Nowhere in their description did they take God into account. Nowhere did they acknowledge the Lord’s promise to give them this land. In verse 30 we see Caleb, a man of God who takes God at His word, conveyed the optimistic point of view, “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Caleb didn’t believe in his own strength and power, rather He believed in God’s promise and knew God would deliver on His promise just as He had always done.
How many times do we find ourselves like the spies, looking at a situation and only seeing the negative, only seeing what we could do in our own strength? We need to understand that one with God is the majority and surely the victory will be ours if we will fully rely on God. Think back to Gideon [Judges 7:1-25]. He had a mere three hundred men to take on an army of thousands. Luke 1:37 reminds us, “Nothing is impossible with God.” If God tells us He is going to do something for us, in us or through us, we can take it to the bank.
What situation are you facing today? Is the glass half empty of half full? It depends on if you’ve factored God into the equation. What do you see?