Part of the Christian life is going through times of “Wilderness”. When we think of this “Wilderness” period we think of these words: desert, barren, wasteland, desolate, dry, waterless, and we think of being alone.
We all have these times where we feel alone, like God isn’t around, like God doesn’t care as much about us, or that He has left us alone. It is in these times when we feel that way that we need to cling to our faith in God. Its amazing how when we go through these times of “wilderness” how we act and how we treat God. I recently went through 2 years of feeling like God wasn’t around, wasn’t bothering with me and just had better things to do. There were times I found myself crying out to the Heavens, “God, why don’t you care about me? Why are you staying silent?! Why wont you do something!?” It was in these times that I realized I had grown the most.
Hosea 2:14-“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
Many times God will allure us into the Wilderness just so we have time to be tested, pruned and an opportunity to grow! As we see in the Bible people go through these intense wilderness times. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years! They mumbled, groaned and whined and complained the whole way through it. They asked where God was, they whined about not having enough food and water. However, God was taking care of them. He provided their needs, He gave them leaders to guide them through the wilderness and into the Promised Land.
God does the same for us. He never just leaves us hanging out in the wilderness. When we are wandering out in the wilderness wondering where God is many times its insanely obvious that He is with us but we get so caught up with whining, grumbling and complaining that we forget to look around us at the obvious signs of God. God meets our needs but because we are so SELF focused we forget to listen to God.
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As we go through these hard times there are 3 key things to remember.
1. God ALWAYS watches out for us.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” -Psalm 62:5-8
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Ps 34.18)
The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Ps 34.7-8)
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. (Ps 145.18-19)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8.38-39)
God loves us enough that He would never leave us or forsake us. One thing I love about God is that He can sympathize with what we are going through. He cares, loves and holds us through our hardest times.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
2. God is Bigger
I think David said it best when he was but a Shepherd boy going to fight against Goliath. Goliath was HUGE, he was strong, he had the advantage over David. But David declared, “ All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Sam. 17:47)
David knew that Goliaths size and strength was no comparison to God! He declared it, believed it and he had victory over a giant! He had victory over what was threatening him, over what seemed to be a huge obstacle but with God all things are possible!
3. God will never leave us even when it feels like He’s not around.
How can we even believe that God loves us and in then think He has left us?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
No matter what we face, no matter what are dealing with, no matter what is coming up against us, God is always bigger, stronger and is on our side! What can stand against a Mighty God like our God? If you believe that, then believe that He will pull you through those times of wilderness, those times of sadness, those times of depression and weakness.