lonely in the wilderness

Guest post:

It can be lonely in the wilderness

by Daniel Mark

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Temptation: G3986 πειρασμός peirasmos pi-ras-mos’ From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation, X try.

Faithful: G4103 πιστός pistos pis-tos’ From G3982; objectively trustworthy; subjectively trustful: – believe (-ing, -r), faithful (-ly), sure, true.

Bear: G5297 ὑποφέρω hupopherō hoop-of-er’-o From G5259 and G5342; to bear from underneath, that is, (figuratively) to undergo hardship: – bear, endure.

God our Father, will indeed allow us to be tempted, or tested, but He is faithful, sure and true, and will not suffer, or allow us, to be tempted beyond what we can bear, or endure. In our darkest hour, as we feel so alone, and the pain from the trials we undergo seems so overwhelming and unbearable, Satan tries to deceive us into believing the Lord doesn’t hear our prayers, or care. Remember the scripture above: cry out to the Lord “your Word is true Lord”! “Strengthen me Lord, so that I can endure this trial”! The Lord is faithful, sure and true and Satan is a liar! Comfort yourselves with these truths.

I know many of you are going through severe trials right now, so am I. The scripture (1 Co 10:13) begins by saying the trials or temptation we go through, are common to man, or that many of us believers are going through similar adversities. That is somewhat of a comfort, but the fact, yes the FACT, that God is faithful brings peace in the midst of the storm. As we go through these trials and the Lord proves His faithfulness, our faith grows.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

We’ve all heard that we would go through these things, and now that we are, let’s get to the place we need to be to overcome. Prayer is a good first step as always, then get your Bible and study what it says concerning your condition. For this article we’re going to use a common issue for the remnant in the wilderness, i.e. the believers who have heard the voice of the Lord calling them out of the modern day apostate church, in obeying the Lord you will most likely lose most of your friends and even your family members! Anyone who has gone through this can tell you how painful it is. We lament the loss of fellowship, and most of all, that we can’t get our lost loved ones to open their eyes and see what the Lord has made so plain to us.

The kingdom of heaven spoken of in the parables in Mat 13 describes a man who found the “pearl of great price” and sold everything he had to acquire it. When we receive the Gospel we are expected to forsake all earthly things to attain the kingdom of heaven.

Luk 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luk 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Luk 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Of course, many see a reference to Lot’s wife, but it’s more than that, it’s that you aren’t the same flesh-driven creature, you are a new creation in Christ! You are about the business of the kingdom of heaven, your Father’s business, and all earthly kingdom activities henceforth take a backseat to this “pearl of great price” you have found. Surely this will cause friction between you and your friends and family. Jesus said so:

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

So as our love and obedience to Jesus Christ and His Gospel overshadows our relationships and activities on earth a separation will occur. We’ll gravitate towards like minded believers rather than fellowship with those whose lives are mostly grounded in earthly cares. Thus fulfilling the Lord’s words’ as those who are spiritually minded, and those that are carnally minded drift apart, friendships dissolve, families breakup and even some marriages end. A separation is taking place as we get nearer and nearer to our Savior’s return. It is indeed painful, but who wants to forsake Christ to avoid it?

Daniel Mark




Article found here.

Treasuring Christ Above All Things

In this sermon jam video someone is throwing “things of this life” into the trash can. I just wanted to add, “health” to that list! How about “reputation”, and “personal dreams, hopes and aspirations”? How many other things can we also count as loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, for whom we have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that we may gain Christ? How do we come to treasure Christ above all things, even life itself? He brings us with Him into the journey of our gradual sanctification. Often He does this through taking things away, or through suffering, or both. Finally, through His working in our life for our good (Rom.8:28), we come to treasure Christ above all, and all other things are as loss to us. What is left is Christ and joy in knowing Him.

Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy! Ps.43:4

For Thou dost make him most blessed forever; Thou dost make him joyful with gladness in Thy presence. Ps.21:6

Here is a related sermon/article: Called to suffer and rejoice; that we may gain Christ, by John Piper.

Yes, the Lord will help us endure, but it is not about our loss, our pain, our suffering, it is about HIM! It is about treasuring Jesus Christ above everything!

Worship song: shai linne (with John Piper) MY PORTION listen now and be encouraged in having Him and KNOWING HIM.

Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! Ps.73:25-26

Verses of Encouragement:Luke

versesAnd He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Luke7:48.

“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. Luke8:39.

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” Luke12:4.

“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke12:11-12.

And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life; as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.” Luke12:22.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Luke12:32.

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight.” Luke12:35.

“Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes: truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.” Luke12:37-38.

“But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all on account of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives (souls)”. Luke21:12-19.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded (permission) to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke22:31-32.

“But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” Luke22:69-70.

And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke23:42-43.

Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke24:45-49.

Verses of Encouragement:Mark

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest for a while.” Mark 6:31.

for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Mark 6:50.

“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first, will be last; and the last, first.” Mark 10:29-30.

“Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Mark 13:29.

And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.” Mark 14:36.

But He kept silent, and made no answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62.

Verses of Encouragement:Matthew

“But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matt.10:19-20.

“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.” Matt.10:28.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matt.14:27.

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Matt.24:29-31.

“…for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” Matt.26:28-29.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Matt.26:39.

“…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matt. 28:18.

“… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt.28:20.

What If

What if everything we have was taken away from us: home, money, security, possessions? How about health? What if freedom, safety and food were removed? What would we have then? What if we were separated from family members. How would we live? What if we really found ourselves in such a scenario someday?

We know that we would have God with us, and we would live by faith. We would have trust in our faithful God. We would have His Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and give His strength and supernatural power. We would have His Words that are hidden in our hearts. We would have His promises to remember. We would have communion with Him in abiding prayer. We would have His commands to obey. We would have His path to walk and His cross to carry. We would have His sufferings to gladly share in. We would have His gospel of grace and salvation to tell to the lost. We would have His truth to boldly declare to anyone opposed to Him. We would have courage and love to share with one another. We would have faith, knowing He is in control and that He is returning for us. We would have hope in our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

We may not be enduring these troubles…yet. But friends, are we living this life of faith now ? This is a good way to be ready for whatever “what if” may come. Are you ready for “what if”?

In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33.

Verses of Encouragement:OT

This is just a small collection of some I really love. Read them in context and hide them in your heart. I hope to post more scripture as I am able. Be encouraged dear child of God.

It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you…Deut.31:3.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you for forsake you. Deut.31:6.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Josh. 1:9.

And he said, “No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” Josh.5:14

O Lord, my God, in thee I have taken refuge… Ps.7:1.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Ps. 27:1.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. Ps.27:14.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped..Ps.28:7.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps.46:1.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Ps.46:11.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps.73:26.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!” Ps. 91:1-2.

For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. Ps. 94:14.

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. Ps.130:5.

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Is.12:2.

How blessed are all those who long for Him. Is.30:18.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.. Is.43:1-3.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Is.51:11.

And I have put My words in your mouth, and have covered you with the shadow of My hand…Is.51:16.

And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Dan.12:3.

The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. Hab.3:19.

Quotes of Encouragement

God wants to encourage us. Often, He uses His children to encourage one another. We can see from these quotes, that comfort given by God the Holy Spirit through His saints is based on His Word. This encouragement simply restates what Truth God has given us in His Word. Here is some comfort sent from God, through His servants, to you.

Be encouraged, child of God. He loves you even in the midst of your pain. He loves you even when you don’t love Him. He loves you when you feel utterly alone. He loves you with an everlasting love. Your suffering can take many things away from you–your health, your happiness, your prosperity, your popularity, your friends, your career, even your family. But there’s one thing suffering can’t take away: it can’t take away the love of God. –Ray Pritchard

When you suffer and lose, that does not mean you are being disobedient to God. In fact, it might mean you’re right in the center of His will. The path of obedience is often marked by times of suffering and loss.–Charles R. Swindoll

It is true that He does sometimes require of us things that to others seem hard. But when the will is once surrendered, the revolutionized life plans become just the plans that are most pleasant, and the things that to others seem hard, are just the things that are easiest and most delightful. Do not let Satan deceive you into being afraid of God’s plans for your life.–R. A. Torrey

This is the purpose of pain for the redeemed: it is one of your Father’s ways of speaking to you; it is the evidence of His limitless love, by which He would draw you farther from evil and closer to Him, the divine remedy which can cure you of pride and help you lean more trustingly on the Lord.–Walter A. Maier

God makes all chosen souls pass through a fearful time of poverty, misery, and nothingness. He desires to destroy in them gradually all the help and confidence they derive from themselves so that He may be their sole source of support, their confidence, their hope, their only resource.–Jean-Pierre de Caussade

When all else is gone, God is left, and nothing changes Him.–Hannah Whitall Smith

What can harm thee, when all must first touch God, within whom thou hast enclosed thyself?–Robert Leighton

Pressing on in painful circumstances is the discipline of keeping our faith when everything not only goes wrong but becomes worse. It means holding onto the Lord during deep trials and asking Him to hold onto us when we feel weak in faith and hope. –Sheila Cragg

Our personal afflictions involve the living God; the only way in which Satan can persecute or afflict God is through attacking the people of God. The only way we can have personal victory in the midst of these flying arrows raining down on us is to call upon the Lord for help. It is His strength, supplied to us in our weakness, that makes victory after victory possible. –Edith Schaeffer

Should we feel at times disheartened and discouraged, a simple movement of heart toward God will renew our powers. Whatever he may demand of us, he will give us at the moment the strength and courage that we need
.–Francois de Fenelon

The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man’s business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose if we flinch or rebel. –Maltbie D. Babcock

God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty. –Peter Marshall

God is doing a greater work in us, and that can only come as we learn to trust him no matter how dark the days and sleepless the nights. And it is only as we have been through the darkness with him that what we know with our heads slides down into our hearts, and our hearts no longer demand answers. The Why? becomes unimportant when we believe that God can and will redeem the pain for our good and his glory. . . . When I put the sovereignty of God beside his unfailing love, my heart can rest.–Verdell Davis

Rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit’s prompting, and take heart that God will accomplish His will. –John MacArthur

The brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried, smelted, polished, and glorified through the furnace of tribulation. –E. H. Chapin

God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand this is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings. . . . “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him” — this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible. –Oswald Chambers

The greater our present trials, the louder will our future songs be, and the more intense our joyful gratitude.
–Charles Spurgeon

Everything that God brings into our life is directed to one purpose: that we might be conformed to the image of Christ. –Erwin W. Lutzer

By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, makes us long for heaven. – J.C.Ryle.