Shortly after God declared His love for Jesus, thereby voicing His pleasure in His Son, the scene suddenly changes, and we see Jesus in the wilderness, being tempted by Satan. In fact, the same Spirit, which descended on Him like a dove, sent Him there. What else does this tell us but that the path of righteousness isn’t always going to be easy? God never promised it would be. What He did say, however, is, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV).
It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:9-13 NKJV)
Perhaps you’re having your own wilderness experience, and you’re beginning to have doubts about God. The enemy would like nothing more than for you to believe your troubles are the result of God abandoning you. But don’t be deceived. Being in a place of hardship doesn’t mean God doesn’t care, nor does it necessarily mean you’re there because He’s displeased with you. Every Christian has a wilderness experience at some point. We all go through trials. Therefore, when we’re in the wilderness, we shouldn’t say, “What did I do to deserve this?”; rather, we should speak the words of the psalmist who said, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV).
It’s in the wilderness that we discover what we’re made of; it’s there that we see what walking by faith is all about, and where we learn to depend on our heavenly Father. Don’t be afraid of suffering opposition for your faith, instead, “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3 NKJV). For if you will be patient, and continue to trust in God, you will eventually see that you lack nothing needed to make it out of the wilderness safely.
Satan can tempt you, but that doesn’t mean He can defeat you. Don’t look at temptation as an excuse to indulge in worldly pleasures; rather, see it as an opportunity to prove sin has no power over you. Sadly, many have fallen into the snare of believing they can’t resist evil. But what else are they saying but that they don’t believe God is powerful enough to deliver them from their sins? Listen, it makes no difference where you are, help is only a breath away. Don’t use your voice to utter disbelief in the power of God; use it to cry out to Jesus for help instead. Cast your cares on Him, and you will surely discover that help is already near.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you should be treated any differently than Jesus was. Just as He experienced opposition for walking in obedience to the Father’s will, so also will you. Don’t compromise in order to avoid this. Trying to hold on to Jesus with one hand, while holding on to the world with the other, isn’t going to make your life experience better; it will only end in utter failure. But if you will walk with Jesus, you can be assured that you will overcome the world. Don’t let doubt drive you away from God, but remain faithful to Him at all times, and He will surely show you that you have nothing to fear in the wilderness.