Can you think of a time when you found yourself in the midst of a circumstance or crisis that looked totally and absolutely hopeless? Maybe you are in the midst of that today. Regardless of the situation, all of us find ourselves in these “wilderness times”. The times that feel like you are caught in a storm without shelter, when your entire being is exposed to the elements. This wilderness has many faces: illness, divorce, financial stress, business… this list goes on and on, symptoms may vary but the right response remains the same.
Friend, let me tell you, I’ve been there. When I wrote this journal entry, I was exactly in that space. There was no calm on the horizon, and most days all we could do was hang on, but hang on we did. We hung onto the Words of Jesus in scripture, we hung onto the lessons learned through the Kings & the Prophets of old. We hung onto Hope and that the Lord was ultimately in charge. We learned that until we could surrender ourselves and our circumstances into the capable and trustworthy hands of the Father, we would remain in the eye of that particular storm much longer than necessary.
It was here that we had finally come to the end of ourselves and the end of our ability. Although the storm had not diverted, we started to see an incredibly important lesson beginning to emerge. Humanly, we often believe we need to get out of the storm before God can actually use us. But this is where I hope to challenge you by reminding you of one of my favourite Biblical prophets. When Daniel was thrown into the lions den, he never entered the storm alone, the Lord met him there. God was In the midst of that very storm with him, and like Daniel, He is IN it with us.
When Daniel was in the lions Den, it was pitch black, he could not see anything, his senses would have been reeling, His sense of smell would have reacted to the mangy lions kept in a cave for just this purpose. His sense of touch would feel the beasts as they brushed past him, but it was the very presence of God, that allowed his sense of sight to see in the darkness. Just like the story of Daniel, we need to know where to focus our eyes when we are in the midst of the storm. Will we focus on the “lions” surrounding us, or focus on our Lord, believing in His plan for us.
1) I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
2) I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
3) Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
4) I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
5) Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6) In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
7) For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
8) Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9) Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.
10) Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
Psalm 34:1-10 NLT
Thank you for Your Word, Your Word is precious to me, more precious than food. For it fills my soul and speaks to me in both good times and bad.
Thank you for speaking to me in this Psalm today Lord. Reminding me how much I have to be thankful for, how good You have been to me and how much You Love me. Thank you for reminding me to give honour to You, for who You are and for all you’ve done for us. Praise you Lord, Praise your Holy name!!
Thank you for reminding me that when I pray to You, I will be freed from the fear that tries to grip my heart. Thank you for reminding me that I can be filled with Joy, even in the midst of these difficult circumstances. Thank you for reminding me that You hear our desperate prayers and that You save us from our distress… Thank you Jesus, Praise You!!
Lord, I don’t know what our future holds, as I can’t see past the moment of the day that I am in, I don’t even know the outcome of today. Yet, I trust in the One, who numbered my days and created me for His purpose before I was even born. I believe that You will use these circumstances for Your glory, and use us to bring glory to Your powerful name.
Lord Jesus, You know all our needs, we know that you hear all our prayers, would You show us what we are to do, would you advise us on how we are to proceed. We don’t trust our own thoughts and plans, as they have proven worldly and foolish. It was our lack of wisdom that got us to this point… O forgive us Lord for our foolishness with the resources You had provided.
Forgive us for not giving back to you what was already yours. Forgive us for living beyond our means and for Loving the things of this world too much. Forgive us for all the foolish and careless decisions we have made. Cleanse us Lord from all of these sins, forgive our rebellion against You, thank you for Your Grace and Forgiveness. Thank you for removing our guilt for all of our failures.
Help us to move forward into a new future Lord, one that spends time with You and time in Your Word. A future where Mike and I can serve You together… free of the past. Direct us I pray: Where we will live, how we should earn a living and how we should clear up this mess we have made.
Be our wisdom we pray, Lord Jesus, hear our prayer and answer us. Redeem the remainder of our lives for You and in service to You. Thank you that You are with us…even when we find ourselves in the wilderness.
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
How are you holding up my friend? Are you a battle weary soldier, just putting one foot in front of the other to survive? The enemy would have us believe that we are fighting a losing battle, that we don’t have sufficient strength to carry on. As soon as you starting thinking these thoughts, you need to recognize the schemes that are at play.
The enemy’s goal is to convince you that you need to take care of problem and come up with a solution on your own, he knows that if he can get you to believe this, you will rely on your resources rather than trusting the one who gave us the amour to fight these battles (Ephesians 6). The enemy wants you to focus on the lions… Jesus wants you to focus on Him and His plan.
As I write this encouragement to you today, I have mostly come through this wilderness time, we are for a large part of it, on the other side and although we are still carrying some battle scars, these actually feel more like monuments to remember what God has done as these were the areas we saw Gods plans begin to unfold and life started to make sense again.
I don’t know what you are battling today, nor do I have any magic answers or solutions for you. But, what I do offer is encouragement. It IS possible to have joy in the wilderness. If you ask God to take your eyes off the lions so that you can see HIS presence, you will be profoundly changed, your experience may not change but your perception will be radically altered, as you allow Him to show you what He has begun in you.
Let’s jump back to the previous story about Daniel, for all of us animal lovers out there, we might cry out, “but Lord, you took away their food, now they will go hungry again”. Yet, God was working out His glory in All areas related to this situation. The King discovered that it was the deception of his rulers that tricked him into this very situation in the first place, and these men had their schemes against God turned against themselves. Yes, the lions still had a feast, and Gods Glory & Power was shown to many that day.
Whatever it is you are facing I urge you dear friend to trust and believe that God is in the midst of the storm (illness, divorce, loss of a loved one, financial crisis etc.) He has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. May you be able to take your eyes off of the lions that are encircling you this day, and see the face of the master, working through you in this very storm. Molding you in new ways to do new things in different ways than you could have ever imagined. So take your eyes off the lions my friend, and place your focus on the lamb… He has great plans for you.
Blessings, Janet❤️. Journey4Jesus
Do you know Jesus ? He’s waiting for you… ( click the link to learn more)