30 Devotions For Youth Leaders


I Can’t Help But Wonder

The report was bleak, the morale was worse...

Why is it that Christians are often pessimists about the culture? Have you noticed? We mope and shake our heads in disgust. We walk around with our shoulders hunched and our spirits low. From all appearances, we’ve given up and given in.

As I read Numbers 13, I am struck by the account of the spies who had investigated the Promised Land. I’m not mistaking for a moment that the United States is the Promised Land, it’s not... but I am struck by the pessimism of God’s people – honestly, it feels familiar. The land had giants and a value system that celebrated destruction.

This was not news to God. He wasn’t sending His people on a suicide mission; He was inviting them to witness His surpassing power. A land that devours its inhabitants was no match for Him.

God didn’t expect His people to be naïve; He expected them to be confident. God was on their side. This confidence should have birthed optimism (someday I’ll ask Caleb and Joshua why it didn’t.)

What if we Christians bucked the trend? What if we became cultural optimists? Not naïve about our culture or evil or the giants that inhabit the land... but optimists about the transforming power of God. (Note the optimism of Jesus when He confidently proclaimed something about the gates of hell being no
match for His community of believers!)

The Bible emphasizes this promise when, through the Apostle Paul, we’re told...

“... in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing can separate us.

In all these things we are MORE than conquerors.

It’s time for those of us who follow Jesus to occupy the promises of God – in spite of the bleak reports. I’m optimistic. Are you?