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A fresh perspective
November 16, 2009
by Pastor Billy Wallace, Dassel Church of Christ

I love the story of Joshua and Caleb in the Bible.

Moses had chosen spies from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to go into the “Promised Land,” the land of Canaan, to see what they were up against.

All 12 men were amazed to see grape clusters so large two men had to carry them out of the field on poles. It was a fertile land, described as “flowing with milk and honey.” It was everything they’d dreamed of.

But that was not the whole story. There were also fortified cities, ready for battle, and there were giants there who were 9 feet tall. Some of the men described themselves as grasshoppers, compared to those giants.

All 12 men saw the same things – the good and the bad.

Ten of the spies said that they shouldn’t go forward. They looked at this situation as hopeless.

Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, saw the same situation as a great opportunity. They believed that God had given them the land, and if God gives you something, He intends for you to have it – end of story!

This was a case of two different perspectives of the same situation – one was defeated; one was victorious.

We face these situations every day. Well, maybe not as extreme as this, but important, nonetheless. We all have struggles, but how we choose to view them determines how we handle them.

We can view our challenges with faith or with doubt.

We can view our challenges as insurmountable and unfair or just as part of our journey, a simple bump in the road.

Our lives are not that much different – we have financial challenges, relationship challenges, health challenges. However, our perspective on these challenges can be radically different, and so can the outcome.

I really enjoy sports, so let me give you a sports analogy. In high school basketball, my main job on my team was to shoot. I wasn’t very fast, I couldn’t jump, and I was not really built for basketball, but I loved to shoot and I worked hard enough at it to get pretty good.

When you are a shooter, your perspective has to be, no matter how many you miss, you’ll make the next one. That next shot is the one that will go in. You have to believe that or you’ll freeze up.

And you have to choose to believe it, because sometimes, it sure doesn’t feel like reality.

Faith doesn’t always jive with reality. It didn’t make sense for those normal Israelite men to conquer 9-foot giants with fortified cities, but since God promised them this land, they believed He’d give it to them. Simple as that.

I hope, today, that you fight to have a perspective of faith – even when it goes against all evidence in front of you!