MAN IN THE WILDERNESS

     “Sometimes I feel like a man in the wilderness.”

In the mid 70s (I’m showing my age here) the band Styx released an album called ‘The Grand Illusion’. While it generated a string of hits such as ‘Miss America’ and ‘Come Sail Away’, It also had a few more introspective songs like ‘Castle Walls’ and ‘Man in the Wilderness’.

While the lyrics don’t acknowledge any belief system beyond that of ‘the world’, they do reflect a deep longing and searching for something outside of ourselves. Some of these lyrics came back to me this morning out of nowhere, and I wondered why that should be.

We all have battles that we’re facing. We all have ‘trials and tribulation’. But what does that mean? What are the spiritual Implications? Jesus said that in this world we’d have trouble, but to take heart, because He has overcome the world. How does that Impact you and me?

SOMETIMES…

How long have you been embattled? How many battles are you facing right now? We’ve all faced the feeling that things were just never going to get any better. That no matter what we do, or have tried to do, It’s not working. It’s always at this point that depression raises its ugly head. What we do with this makes all the difference.

A MAN IN THE WILDERNESS

After He was baptized, Jesus was led out into the wilderness for a period of prayer, fasting and to be tempted. There is a process in all of this, and we are remiss when we don’t consider it. God refines us in the furnace of tribulation. That doesn’t go a long way towards making us feel any better, unless we look at the bigger picture.

What does the bigger picture look like? How does God see it? God doesn’t just see your entire life laid out, He sees everyone and everything from start to finish. And yet, He has given you choices and a part to play. He needs you to be all that He designed you to be, so that you can function in the calling laid out for you. Does the process always feel good? No, actually, sometimes it feels like hell.

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy of the outcome set before Him. Paul pressed forward towards the prize, in spite of being beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned.

I’m not being trite. And I’m not trying to diminish or trivialize whatever it is you’re facing today. I’m right there with you. Oh, if you only knew, I am right there with you. What we do with this makes all the difference.

When you come to the end of yourself is when you will reach out for help. When the physical world and all that it has to offer slips trough your hands, and there’s nothing left, is when you will reach out your hands to Jesus. He knows this, and He’s waiting for you to call on his name, lay everything at his feet, and turn it all over to Him. And then you wait. I don’t know if we’re talking days, weeks or months here, but you wait, and you trust.

Without faith it’s Impossible to please God. In order to have faith in him, you have to trust Him. Job said ‘even though He slays me, yet will I trust Him!’ We need to be of the same mind. We need to trust the one who made us to finish His work in us, and through us.

What kind of battles are you facing today? It might feel like hell. What you do with this makes all the difference. Will you trust Him? He has overcome the world you know.

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