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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

January 31

And now behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Joshua 14:10-13

At eighty-five years old, Caleb said, “I want the Anakims. I want food. I don’t want to kick back. I don’t want an easier load. I don’t want to retire. What I want, what’s keeping me strong and vigorous is giants. I thrive on them” (see Numbers 14:9). Why would Caleb say this? Because he understood that what God’s people need is not comfort but challenges, because it is the giant difficulty, the giant heartbreak, the giant heartache that brings them to Hebron. Hebron, the place Abraham first built an altar, means “Fellowship.” That’s what giant problems do - they bring me to the place where I cry out to the Lord, call on the Lord, and look to the Lord. They bring me to fellowship. When things are comfy and cozy, I can find myself pulling away from fellowship. I can find myself spiritually putting my feet up, kicking back, retiring.

And that makes me old, grumpy, cranky, diminished. Why? Because it’s in the place where I’m battling heartbreak and heartache, where I’m doing battle in the spiritual realm that I am forced to be on my knees, forced to say, “Lord, I can’t make it without You.”

And the Lord says, “That’s why I’ve allowed these Anakims to come to you. They’re bread for you. They actually make you stronger because they bring you into Hebron.”

“Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:11). When I think of bread, I think of sourdough with butter and strawberry jam. Yet, while the Lord does indeed give us bread to sustain us physically, He also gives us the bread of giant problems to make us strong and energetic spiritually.

I want to be like Caleb. I want to say, “I’m strong like I was at my peak.”

The Lord says, “Okay, then I’m going to send bread your way - Anakims that will force you to come to Hebron.”

That’s what Jesus did. Such an abundance of bread did He provide for the multitude that there were twelve baskets left over. If this meant each disciple was given his own basket, I can picture them enjoying their “leftovers” on the grassy hillside, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. That very evening, they were on the Sea of Galilee facing giant problems. “We’re dying!” they cried, as they fought the storm hour after hour. Yet it was then - in the midst of a giant storm - that Jesus, the Bread of Life, came to them, walking on the water (Matthew 14:27).

When we’re eating bread on the grassy hillside, we don’t understand who Jesus is. But when the seas are angry and the wind is howling, when there are giants around us and everything seems to be going down, it’s then we hear His voice and see His face. It’s then that we understand that He is our Bread.

As believers, we’re the luckiest people in the world because we are the only ones who can count it all joy when various trials come our way (James 1:2). We’re the only ones who know that all things are working together for good (Romans 8:28). We’re the only ones who can say, “There’s a giant of a problem in my life - and I know it’s bread for me.”

How do I know that every storm the Lord sends my way will ultimately be good for me? Because the Bread of Life was broken on the Cross of Calvary to pay for my sins. Our Lord, our Joshua, our Jesus says to us, “I care about you deeply. I love you passionately. And anything that comes your way is Wonder Bread. It will build your body, keep you young, and bring you into fellowship with Me.”

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day of Feasting" by Pastor Jon. "A Day of Feasting" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Joshua through Malachi. If you would like your own copy of "A Day of Feasting" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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