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Date published: 01/05/2017
Psalm 106:24 “Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His promise.” (NIV)  

   The other night I went with my daughter’s family to the Polar Express train ride. We went the year before with our grandson and had a wonderful time. The only difference in this year’s experience was the “polar” temperatures. By the time we boarded the train for this trip, it seemed like every child was crying from the frigid temperatures…OK, I do know I am exaggerating! Before long all I could hear and experience were the cries of the children which were most likely only a few. By the end of the trip, I could not wait to get off that train. In retrospect the experience was just as good this year as last, but I allowed those noisy cries to become the focus. Last year I was caught up in the joy of the children and the high energy experience, while this year I allowed a small part of the experience to ruin the whole experience. 

  This Scripture describes a similar experience. The Israelites knew the land God had promised them was good, but they began to despise it. It may have been the distance they had been traveling, the scarcity of water along the way, or the lack of variety with the food God had provided for them; but what they knew to be good, they now saw as bad. I think we often turn from God when we start to experience some dissatisfaction. You can allow the small things in life to build until it causes you to turn from God – even though you know the goodness of the Lord and His promises. Before you know it, you have allowed a small amount of dissatisfaction to cause you to reject God’s truths. You begin to choose the temporal things of this world over the eternally satisfying things God has for you. 

   Next time you are dissatisfied, frustrated, or sinfully tempted, quickly turn to God. Take a breath, pray, and possibly review some Scriptural truths in the area of your dissatisfaction. Allow the beauty and majesty of God and His truths to dwarf the worldly temptations you are experiencing. Allow God to take you to Romans 8:28 where you learn of the Lord’s goodness in all life: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (NIV). Do not allow something small to rob you of all God has for you; take refuge in Him as Psalm 5:11 says, “But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.” (NIV)   

Psalm 138:8 “The LORD will fulfill His purpose  for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever — do not abandon the works of Your hands.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Knowing God’s Will.” 

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