I would like to share some words of encouragement that I have received personally while studying the Old Testament part of the Bible recently.
When getting near to the Promised land, Israelites complained: "Why is the Lord bringing us to this land - just to have us die in battle? Our wives and children will be taken as prisoners of war!" (Numbers 14, 3) Humanly speaking, we may understand them - after all, they had mainly seen slavery and oppression, and a difficult journey so far in their lifetime. Still, it was a grave mistake from their part - especially because they had already seen the mighty hand of God on their behalf. The Lord replied: "You said your children will be taken as prisoners of the war. Instead, I will bring them to the land you rejected, and they will enjoy it." (Numbers 14, 31) Maybe you find it difficult to hope today. Perhaps, for most part you have only experienced slavery to sin or suffering under unfortunate circumstances, and the difficulties on a journey of life. Be assured this is not all there is! God has something better ahead, so let us press on to enter His promises! Let us keep our hopes up to be able to see and take hold of what He has prepared! See and envision yourself and your loved ones coming out in glorious light, freedom, and joy!
As stated in a quote that was recently posted in a Christian WeChat group (author unknown): “Don't settle for mere talk about God's power - or books and songs about His power. Ask Him to show you for yourself. If God had given you a task that looks impossible, do it anyway; then you can experience His power accomplishing His will through your life. Don't consider your own inadequacy. That's irrelevant. Remember, nothing is impossible with God! "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.“(Jeremiah 32:17)
In Numbers 22-24, we read a story how Balaam who is hired by king Balak to curse Israel, ends up blessing them three times instead, and prophesying their victory. Reading into context of preceding and following chapters, these rich words of blessing on Israel come somewhat as a surprise, as we can find quite serious problems in Israelite camp, and God dealing with them both before and afterwards. True, they had first few victories already, but likely they went to battle still only with manna in their stomachs. You may have various internal struggles and challenging outward circumstances today. But I want to tell you, if you stand in Jesus, YOU ARE BLESSED! You are blessed nevertheless! YOU ARE BLESSED BEYOND THE CURSE! AND YOU WILL INHERIT THE LAND AND GOD'S PROMISES! Maybe to someone from aside it is much more apparent than to yourself. "How beautiful are your tents, o Jacob, your dwelling places, o Israel! Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness - who dares to rouse them? May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!" (Numbers 24, 5-9)