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May 12 – The Desert Brings About A Renewal Of Heart

May 12, 2012

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”Romans 15:4

I need hope.  There has been times when I needed to hear the hope; other times I needed to experience the depths of the wilderness for a little while.  There have been times when I have left the wilderness too quickly; People stepped in and “helped” me, pulling me out of the desert I had created.  Once I was “rescued,” it didn’t take long before I was in another predicament.  Looking back, I realize that had I spent a little more time there to meet my challenges,  it would have probably taught me a stronger lesson for life.  Sometimes folks need to spend a little time in the desert to learn the humbling lessons of life from the Lord.  If I had stayed there long enough, perhaps my heart would have softened and become ready to hear that word of hope that the Lord might offer.  Leaving the wilderness too quickly may not do the job it was intended to do.  If I were to get out too quickly, I might not make the necessary heart changes that I so desperately needed.

There are other times when I have fought so hard to climb out of the valley of despair, I tried to pull myself out by my own spiritual bootstraps, so to speak, I didn’t take the time to learn what I needed to learn.

In the scripture above, the word “patience” means “endurance, or perseverance.”  Comfort means “solace.”  Hope means “expectation.” 

There is record of these things to teach every Christian lessons- for me to understand that I am not any different from them.  I, too, must endure the wilderness; I, too, must spend my time in the discipline of the Lord.  He disciplined the Israelites because He loved them; and He does the same for me.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame (crippled) be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed (whole).” – Heb 12:5-13 (parenthesis mine)

There’s a purpose in the wilderness.  I do not need to see the wilderness as only despair, but as the time and purpose of God to create in me a renewed heart.  The most important lessons I have learned in life were learned in the desert.

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