In the Wilderness? Words of Encouragement for You
I asked the Lord this morning to show me some words that might encourage others, but as I journaled, He first reminded me of those who might need those words of encouragment the most, the ones still walking in their own “wilderness”:
Are you one of these?
- The one whose heart is broken by another’s cruelty and refusal to stay in the marriage.
- The one who is searching for something–or someone–to ease the pain of loneliness.
- The mom who struggles to find the balance between working at home and ministering and caring for her kids.
- The one who cannot work from home and whose heart is paralyzed with fear for the children’s’ protection.
- The father whose job is on the line and who lives with fear of a pink slip.
- The one who just got the pink slip and has a mortage due.
- The parent whose kids have rebelled.
- The one who longs to find purpose and meaning and joy again.
- The one who has temporarily lost his vision and stability because of one careless error.
- The heart that longs for the fullness of God, to be filled with His presence, but can’t hear Him in the noise of their circumstances.
- The one who whose world has turned strangely dark, with no hope of change.
- The one who cannot escape from the nightmares of injustice, violation, or chronic physical pain.
- The one who has just received the doctor’s news: terminal.
- The one who has agonized in prayer but sees no change.
- The one who is imprisoned in an endless cycle of destructive habits.
- The one whose resume reads “success,” but whose heart cries “exhausted.”
- The one who has just said goodbye to someone they love.
You may find yourself in one of those categories, or in none of them. Maybe you know someone who’s struggling in the wilderness right now. I’m not sure who needs these words, but I’m guessing all of us have experienced a “wilderness” at one time or another in our lives. Maybe you’re still there. So, whoever you are, these words today are for you.
These Words of Encouragement Are For You
Here are the verses God impressed me to share with you as I was reading from Isaiah 35:1-3, 10.
- “Strengthen those who have tired hands.”
- “Encourage those who have weak knees.”
- “Say to those who are afraid, ‘Be stong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.’”
- “Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.”
Isaiah lived in disturbing times, when God’s people imprisoned themselves in their own deserved judgment, following endless cycles of disobedience. Yet God promised hope and those words of encouragement to balance their impending judgment: a light, as it were, at the end of the tunnel.
I’m sure Joshua needed those words as well, even though he had just emerged from a literal wilderness with Moses for 40 years. But he was moving into unconquered territory now. He, too, needed encouragement, just to believe God’s promises to him and to God’s people. What God told him was not an option, but a command:
“I command you–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord Your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NLT).
God further promises that hope does not disappoint. (Romans 5:4; Isaiah 49:23, NIV). Wherever you are, whatever “wilderness” you’re in right now, cling to those words. Cling to Jesus. Earthly hope will let us down. But true hope, wrapped up in a personal relationship and belief in Christ will never disappoint. That kind of hope is rooted not in circumstances, but in Christ alone.
A Prayer for You
Lord Jesus, please hear the cries of those still “wandering” in the wilderness of difficult circumstances. Comfort weary, fearful hearts, and come alongside those who desperately need your companionship, counsel, and intervention. You have promised your presence, and I ask you to make Your presence real in every reader’s heart today. Give them hope and light wherever they are. You are the only one who can truly help. Encourage them today, as only You can. Help them to run to your arms of love. Let them know, that in you, all things are possible. Thank You Jesus! Amen.
Just a reminder if you would like to be entered in a random book giveaway of Carol Kent’s book, Between a Rock and a Grace Place, check out last week’s blog and leave an appropriate comment there. I’ll be giving that book away next week.
What about you? Are you in a wilderness time in your life right now? How did God bring you out of one? I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below. Your words may encourage someone else! And feel free to send this blog on to others by using the buttons below.