July 2, 2019

Hope in a Hard Situation

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 2, 2019

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life. . . ” 1 Kings 19:4

Years ago, when I was in-between jobs and struggling to make ends meet, I felt as if I was in the wilderness, a dry, trying and testing place. Naturally, I wanted my trial to quickly end. I couldn’t wait for relief to come. 

Then, I sensed that the Lord wanted me to take advantage of my trial because there would come a time when it would end, and it would be unfortunate if I looked back with regret, knowing that I had wasted my days by complaining. 

Perhaps you are having your own wilderness experience. Maybe you’re not struggling with unemployment, but perhaps you’ve recently divorced, your child has moved to college, you’ve moved to a new town, or you’re struggling with unexpected illness. There are many circumstances that can cause us to feel as if we are in the wilderness. 

While you’re waiting for God to release you from your trial, here are some things to remember about your testing time. 

While in the wilderness, like me, you may wish that the trial would quickly pass so you can get on with life. That’s normal. But in your desire to experience joy again, don’t miss the good that God is doing. 

In every wilderness experience God is at work in the believer’s life, doing something beautiful. He’s doing something in you—something that, when you look back, you’ll be able to see that He was stretching you, growing you, and making you more of who He created you to be for His glory. 

While in the wilderness, you can ask the hard questions. The Lord is not put off by your honesty, or your lament. His ears are open to your cries and He wants to bear your burden. (Matthew 11:28-30). The wilderness is a time of vulnerability, and vulnerability is necessary for all relationships to flourish, including your relationship with Christ. 

In the wilderness, God is inviting you to hear Him in a unique way. He wants you to hear His voice afresh so you can experience greater intimacy with Him and experience greater joy. 

In the wilderness is where you can become more self-aware, aware of your motivations, aware of your heartache, and aware of your need for God. 

It’s God’s desire that the wilderness move you from trying to control your life and bear your own burdens. He wants you to cast your cares on Him. 

In the wilderness, God is working to release you of bondages you may have that are rooted in fear, pride, or a lack of trust. 

Ultimately, in the wilderness God wants to lead you to a place where you can experience His presence in greater measure, understand His love more fully, and experience more peace in the days to come. 

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

Prayer

Lord, I praise you that you are purposefully drawing me to yourself during this difficult time. I praise you that my trials are never wasted. Please help me to look to you during my wilderness experience. Amen.


Application

Read about the wilderness experience of Jesus in Mark 1 and note your insights.


Related Reading

James 1:2-3; Job 23:10; Zechariah 13:9


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During hard times we become more aware, aware of our motivations and aware of our need for God. #WisdomHunters


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