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Trusting God in the Wilderness

Dr. Carissa Quinn
When times get hard, will we trust in ourselves or in God's character?

How does fear hold us back from experiencing God’s promises? Today we’re reflecting on God's trustworthy character and how he responds when his people fail to trust and follow him. Join in! Listen to the message, watch the video, open your Bible, and interact with the questions below.


Listen to a short message from Carissa on the book of Numbers. You can listen to this on your own or with a group. If you are leading a small group or family, feel free to listen to the message and contextualize it for your needs.
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Carissa's Message on Trusting God's Character
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Listen to the whole audio on the Reflections Podcast

Read and Discuss


Video Question
What image stood out to you in the video and why?

Message Question
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?

God delivered Israel out of slavery and promised to settle them in their own land. But when it was finally time to receive the promise, Israel refused. They doubted God’s intentions and forgot about the ways he protected and provided for them in the past. They failed to measure the strength of the character of God and measured the strength of their giants instead. But God did not give up on Israel. He brought a future generation into the promised land through Joshua. And centuries later, Jesus came to lead all who would trust in him to experience God’s promises.

Feel free to reflect on all the questions or simply a few right now. You can also reflect throughout the week by focusing on one question per day.

Reflection 1:

What did the spies believe would happen if they went into the land God promised (see 13:28-29 and 32-33)? What did Joshua and Caleb believe (see 13:30 and 14:6-9)?

Reflection 2:

How did the Israelites misjudge God’s character and intentions (see 14:3)? What decisions did they make because of this (see 14:2-4 and 10)?

Reflection 3:

Now consider Moses’ understanding of God’s character (see 14:17-19). What did he know to be true about God? And what decision did God make in response to Moses’ trust in him (see 14:20-24)?

Reflection 4:

Take note of what the Israelites wished for and what God gave them as a consequence. Compare and contrast 14:2-3 with 14:22-34. Pay attention to the details. What do you notice? How did God respond to them with justice and compassion?

Reflection 5:

What specific fears or doubts have held you back from trusting and following God? Instead of replaying your past or current fears, shift your focus to God. What comes to mind as you remember God’s trustworthy character toward you in your specific circumstances?

Reflection 6:

Jesus leads all who rely on him into an experience of God’s promises. What is one step you can take today to trust and follow him?

Reflection 7:

Turn your reflections into a prayer. Express your gratitude for God’s trustworthy character and intentions toward you. Be honest about the ways you have overestimated your fears and underestimated his faithfulness. And ask for his help to understand and trust in his care for you today.

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