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Pastor's Letter for February 2021
February 4, 2021, 9:00 AM

You and I are creatures of comfort. We love security, and work very hard avoid insecurity, discomfort, and even inconvenience of every kind. We do our very best to avoid the wilderness. If you find yourself lost in the wilderness, survival is not assured and threats abound. Despite your best efforts you can find yourself facing wildernesses of many kinds. It may be a wilderness of poor health, a wilderness of a broken family, a wilderness of financial hardship, or a wilderness of politics. In the wilderness you lack resources to survive and escape, resources such as hope and encouragement are in short supply.

When confronted with the wilderness how can a person survive? Wilderness experiences are very hard, yet the the wilderness is an important place for people of God. In the wilderness a person learns to trust God, trust his love, his truth and his providence, rather than themselves. God used the wilderness to train Jesus himself to trust God. God uses the wilderness of adversity to train us to trust him.

 

Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

When Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. He was full of the Holy Spirit and he was the father’s beloved, which had been proclaimed from the heavens. Yet faith was severely tested and refined in the wilderness just like our faith is tested and refined in the desert. As hard as it is to understand, wilderness and tribulation are important parts of our lives because it is through trials that we learn the power of God’s love for us.

Rev 13:10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

 

God says those who are destined to be killed and enter captivity will be killed and held captives…yet God’s power to give life is more powerful than the power of the flesh and the dragon to take it. God’s power to set the captives free is more powerful than the enemy as well. Jesus patiently endured temptation, hardship, and finally death on the cross, but he was resurrected because of his faithfulness to the trinity.

We are all in a wilderness of some kind. We are all afraid of the sword and of captivity. In our lives there are many many voices that are speaking to us about ways to survive in the wilderness and somehow escape the threats of death and captivity in the wilderness. Only one voice matters, the one crying out in the wilderness saying prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight. The God of grace is with you, directing you on the path of life with him. He calls you beloved, just as he called Jesus beloved. He is leading you is teaching you, sanctifying you even in the wilderness as you walk faithfully with him.

The first and crucial first step of faithfulness is to remember who your heavenly father says you are. When you receive your identity as a beloved child of God then you will have the power to seek him, wait on him and trust him even through the deepest wilderness. What got Jesus through the wilderness was his relationship with God. How you get through is relationship with God…No matter how the wilderness threatens you, the Lord will keep you in perfect peace when you diligently seek him. The only way survive the wilderness is with God.

 

 

In His Love,

 

Jon

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