I've always seen life as a series of seasons, each with its focus, sphere of activity – or lack of it – each with its joys and sorrows, lessons to be learned and experience gained, each equipping us for future seasons with all that God has planned for us.
Today’s text is about a specific season in Jesus’ life – it lasted forty days. It was an experience in the wilderness, when Jesus suffered an onslaught from the enemy, who tempted Him in every area of His being, body, soul and spirit. But Jesus stood secure. For one thing, He had been filled with the Holy Spirit at His recent baptism and had heard His Father’s words of love and affirmation: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). So, He was secure in His relationship with His Father. But notice especially how He answered every temptation with the Word of God, which is the greatest weapon against enemy opposition.
Most of us go through difficult seasons in our lives. Perhaps you’re going through such a time at the moment. It may be because of sickness, loss, rejection, or maybe a series of painful blows one after the other. Testing times can come in many forms. But, like Jesus, we too can be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 exhorts us to be), we can stand on the knowledge of God’s great love for us, and we can, and should, use the Word of God to strengthen ourselves in the Lord and defeat any enemy involvement in the situation (Ephesians 6:10-18).
How we go through each season is as important as getting to the end of it, because, in fact, how we go through it will determine where we are at the end of it. Are we closer to Jesus, stronger in our faith, more compassionate towards others, and able to minister with a new authority to those going through suffering? Or have we allowed our pain to harden us, so we have less sympathy and kindness, and are weaker in our faith? Because the very act of hardening ourselves creates a block to receiving the love and comfort God wants to give us, and to finding our courage in Him.
The other day I saw a young father with his son, about to get on the tram I was in. Clearly, the little boy was nervous of climbing up into the tram. His father’s words impacted me immediately. He said, “Don’t be afraid – I'm holding you”. In that moment, I felt my heavenly Father was saying those words to me, and it gave me such a sense of security and of being loved and protected. Feelings such as uncertainty, vulnerability and weakness come with seasons of pain, but our heavenly Father says to us “Don't be afraid – I'm holding you!”'
A wise friend wrote to me recently “Don’t hurry what God is teaching you”. Another sent me Psalm 27:14, in similar vein: ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord’.
When the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, He went in ‘filled with the Spirit’ and came out of it ‘in the power of the Spirit’. And so it will be with us. We’ll walk out from this trial stronger than when we went into it. We’ll walk out in the power of the Spirit, and on into all the good plans God has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You alone know the inner pain and struggles I face. But I thank You for Your word to me today that I need not be afraid, for You are carrying me, and I will come out of this stronger than before. I rest in this and entrust myself to You afresh today. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.