Streams in the Desert - Jul 24

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them. (Psalm 106: 12– 15)

In Hebrews 11: 27, we read that Moses “persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Yet in the above passage, exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel. They persevered only when their circumstances were favorable, because they were primarily influenced by whatever appealed to their senses, instead of trusting in the invisible and eternal God.

Even today we have people who live an inconsistent Christian life because they have become preoccupied with things that are external. Therefore they focus on their circumstances rather than focusing on God. And God desires that we grow in our ability to see Him in everything and to realize the importance of seemingly insignificant circumstances if they are used to deliver a message from Him.

We read of the children of Israel, “Then they believed his promises.” They did not believe until after they saw— once they saw Him work, “then they believed.” They unabashedly doubted God when they came to the Red Sea, but when He opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his army drowned—“ then they believed.” The Israelites continued to live this kind of up-and-down existence, because their faith was dependent on their circumstances. And this is certainly not the kind of faith God wants us to have.

The world says that “seeing is believing,” but God wants us to believe in order to see. The psalmist said, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps. 27: 13 NASB).

Do you believe God only when your circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what your circumstances may be?
~C. H. P.

Faith is believing what we do not see, and the reward for this kind of faith is to see what we believe.
~Saint Augustine


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim. Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 285). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual