Numbers 14:17-24

Oftentimes, we become so focused on something or someone that we are unable to hear the Lord at all. In those times, one of God’s most effective and yet painful ways to get our attention is through disappointments. Oh, how we dislike this method!

This is the way God spoke dramatically to the nation of Israel. In Numbers 14, He directed His people into the Promised Land. However, they were scared of the inhabitants, so they refused to enter. As a result, the Lord told the Israelites they’d “by no means see the land” for 40 years, until after that generation had died (v. 23).

Their disappointment was so great that they decided to change their minds. Sadly, though, it was too late; God had already settled the issue. And the people were distraught with grief because of what they had missed.

At that moment, in the heart of their disappointment, do you think God had their attention? Absolutely. The next time He gave Israel a command, don’t you think they listened a bit more intently?

Tragically, failure is rather common in such situations. Instead of looking to God when disappointments occur, we are quick to blame circumstances, other people, fate, or even the Devil.

We are hesitant to believe that our loving Father could be responsible for our frustrations. Yet God is perfectly willing to use disappointments to realign our thoughts with His. Consider the difficulties in your life—might the Lord have been trying to say something in the midst of them?