After spending some 400 years as slaves in Egypt, the Israelites spent another 40 years wandering in the desert. In the end, that generation of God’s chosen people were not permitted to enter the Promise Land. “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19).
The Israelites were blessed by God’s mighty power. When they needed a Deliverer, God delivered them from their slave masters (Exodus Chapters 7-12). When they needed to escape Pharaoh’s army, God provided a way to cross the Red Sea onto dry land (Exodus 14:21-31). When they needed food, God provided manna and quail in the middle of the desert (Exodus Chapter 16).
The belief in God’s provision and His plan just wasn’t good enough for some. The Israelites turned to reminiscing about the good old days of sitting around pots of leeks and onions back in their captivity instead of enjoying their new-found freedom in the Lord. The leeks and onions didn’t cost them a thing, but their freedom was a huge sacrifice involving an even bigger step of faith (Numbers 11:4-5).
Sounds a little like us, doesn’t it? I know it sounds like me at times. God answers countless prayers. He heaps blessing upon blessing in God-sized ways. Then, old habits beckon us back with their old charms. Our belief in the God of the blessings wanes in the mundane cares of life. Our faith falters and you start asking yourself, “Did God really answer that prayer or was it a coincidence?” “Was that truly a blessing from the Lord or was it because of my own efforts?” “Am I satisfied with the blessing or am I expecting more from God?”
I try to counteract any unbelief in God by reminding myself as much as possible, of how much He has blessed me. Early in the morning during my quiet time, I write out a list of the ways God has blessed me by listing things and people I am thankful for. It may be as little as thank you for getting me out of bed this morning to thank you for the positive report from the doctor. It could be thank you for that gorgeous sunset last night, or thank you for my spouse or thank you for giving me the words to say in that meeting.
Your belief in God will grow exponentially by being thankful daily for His blessings. Living with a thankful heart will help you stay focused on who God is and what He has to offer through you and in you.
I challenge you today, to write down at least five people or things for which you are thankful. Then, spend some time in prayer thanking God for those people and things. Next, begin praying about being thankful daily if it isn’t already something that you are in a habit of doing. Lastly, be ready for God to grow your belief in Him.