Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
The wilderness is a place of many steps and each give the impression God is increasingly more distant. But He’s not.
Wilderness experiences are all about “persevering” with God.
I believe that faith and patience will get us out of the wilderness as quickly as possible. Its better to endure pain if necessary now than to go on suffering frustration for a lifetime until you learn the lesson and pass the test that God is putting before you now. At the same time, learn the power of speaking out God’s Word.
The wilderness really isn’t a fun place to be. It’s a place where I hunger and thirst, often for good and noble things, yet I am left feeling empty…and dry…and alone. In this wilderness, God seems absent or at least silent and the feelings of desperation and doubt threaten to overwhelm.
In the wilderness we encounter difficult questions and look endlessly for answers. We sense loneliness because we’ve left friends and family behind.
This is a tough place to be. God has stripped me of my friend, my “support” and I feel more alone than ever. Months into my wilderness experience, it has gone to levels I NEVER imagined.
But I know that I am not alone. Haggai 1:13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke by the commission of the LORD to the people saying, ” ‘I am with you,’ declares the LORD.” God’s Holy Spirit is at work in me. God loves me and is using these trials to refine and sanctify me, just like He did with countless characters in the Bible (Joseph in Egypt, Moses, Daniel, Elijah, Jesus, etc.). Cling to Jesus!
Moses was banished from Egypt after acting rashly. He lived as a shepherd, leading the flocks to the far side of thewilderness (Exodus 3:1). That’s where he saw the burning bush and was called to save Israel from the Egyptians.
Elijah was fed by ravens as he hid by the Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan (1 Kings 17:5). After allowing God to provide for his every need, he went bravely to face King Ahab and the prophets of Baal at the famous show-down at Mount Carmel.
And, after Jesus was baptized, scripture tells us that he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil (Matthew 4:1). Even our Saviour was not immune from time in the wilderness! It was there that he fasted, prayed, and faced Satan himself—and came out victorious!
Don’t give up! Trust God! Hang in there! He is faithful! Ultimately, God wants us to go through the desert and come out on the other side of it victorious. We must know that God is in complete control of our circumstances, and that He has His reasons for everything.
Jesus told Simon Peter that Satan would sift him like wheat… but then He said, “But I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail, and when you are ‘turned again,’ that you strengthen your brothers’ (Luke 22:32).
Your wilderness period is an opportunity to get to know God intimately, and experience his works in your life and your heart. Don’t waste these opportunities. When you get out of the wilderness you will appreciate the times you had getting to know God.
So don’t give up in the midst of trials. Don’t grab the steering wheel when God is driving! It is the Lord’s job to lead us out of the wilderness; it is not for us to find a way. It is necessary that you pass through seasons of trials, but God is there for you to strengthen you and hold you up.
If you find yourself in the wilderness right now, take heart, it’s not a permanent residence. In the wilderness we are not being punished, we are being tested, and our faith is being strengthened, may be God is preparing you for something marvelous.