Israel refused to believe God's message about how precious they were in his eyes. Instead, they preferred to focus on their condition — their problems, weaknesses and inabilities — and they gave in to their fears.

After a time, God ran out of patience with them, saying to Moses: "How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? I will smite them . . . and disinherit them" (Numbers 14:11-12).

The Lord forgave Israel for Moses' sake but they were not permitted to enter into the Promised Land. Instead, they were assigned a wilderness existence, a life given over to constant fear and destructive doubts. They were forgiven — but miserable! They had lost the hope, rest and peace that come from accepting and believing how special God's children are to Him.

Beloved, the only time God's patience runs out with us is when we refuse again and again to accept how much He loves us and wants to see us through our battles. Indeed, many Christians today have been turned back into a wilderness of their own making. They have no joy, no victory. To look at them, you'd think God had forsaken them years ago when actually He has just turned them over to their own complaining and murmuring.

Thank God, Joshua and Caleb entered into the Promised Land. And what joy they had! God blessed them incredibly and they stood as green trees in His house until their dying days. They were men of power and vision because they knew they were precious to God.

You also are precious to the Lord, in spite of all your problems and failures. No matter what your trials or struggles, you can be a green tree in God's house, just as Joshua and Caleb were. Simply stand on what His Word promises: "He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me" (Psalms 18:19). That is the foundation of true faith.