“The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness”(Jeremiah 31:2).

            Prophet Jeremiah speaks of the restoration of Jacob, and of the remnant of Israel being saved. God’s signal favour is always upon the few and faithful remnants. There are millions and millions of Christians all over the world, but God’s focus is upon the faithful few. Six lakhs of people came out of Egypt, but God was not pleased with most of them. Therefore, they perished in the wilderness. Only Caleb and Joshua who whole – heartedly and faithfully followed the Lord entered the promised Land. “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an Heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:15, 16).

  1. A PLACE OF SOLITUDE: “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there” (Hosea 2:14) NIV. A wilderness is a place of no change, no chance, only the same unvarying monotony of desolation. No one will take up a way through the wilderness with joy because the wilderness life would test every fibre in man’s courage. It will demand every ounce of physical strength. Survival becomes harder day by day. How often have you traversed a lonely path? Many a time you expect a change in your life and in your circumstance, but nothing seems to change around you. Although you have looked in every direction, you have seen no possibility of change. Have you known life like that? In many homes, life that was once full of love, hope and fair promises is now become barren and dry. Do you miss something that is precious to you? In the wilderness life, faith has died. You discover that the one you trusted is not worthy of your trust. If you are in that state, the Lord says to you, “My child, you may be in a wilderness, but My grace will bring about a dramatic change for you in your circumstances.” When God led Moses to the wilderness, he would not have understood what was going on. It would have been a painful experience for him, but when he found grace in the wilderness, he would have thanked God. The Lord says,“My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Once God’s purpose is fulfilled, He would bring us out of our wilderness experience.
  2. A PLACE OF SUFFERING: “He found him in the desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32: 10). The wilderness is a terrible place. It is a place of suffering. You do not find many people in the wilderness. When Jacob wandered through the waste, howling wilderness, all he found was a stone to lay his head. Sometimes God’s people go through such a wilderness with no one to care for them, no one to share their burdens and anxieties and no one to quiet their fears. How often we have traversed a lonely path? All of us without exception want to be loved and cared for. Maybe you are growing old and your loved ones have all gone, or maybe the person you loved has died. To you the Lord says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you. You may be lonely but you are never alone. In your wilderness, I am with you.’ When Elijah was dejected, he said to the Lord, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:4). If you are like Elijah, the Lord says to you, ‘My child, I want you to live. My grace is sufficient for you. Don’t focus on your wilderness but on what I have in store for you.’
  3. A PLACE OF PROVISION: “….I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). The children of Israel ate Manna for forty years in the wilderness. It was in plenty. They could gather how much they wanted. But it had to be gathered early in the morning, for when the sun came up, it melted. When God gave them Manna, it was not from the natural resource, but from a supernatural source of supply. He gave them Manna from heaven. He turned the wilderness into a place of daily provision. God provided them water, quails and Manna in plenty. They found mercy, grace, care and compassion in the wilderness. When the children of Israel left the wilderness for Canaan, the provision of manna ceased. While they were in the wilderness, they never lacked sustenance. God’s grace is always given according to man’s needs. God will supply all your needs but you must take what He offers. Take a decision this month and say, “Lord, I will joyfully accept what you offer me. I will not murmur or grumble.” The Lord will meet your needs supernaturally through the most unexpected sources, for the Lord says, “I will be your provider this month. You will not lack any good thing if you seek Me with all your heart.”
  1. A PLACE OF DIVINE PRESENCE: “But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea”(Exodus 13:18). The Lord went before the people by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light. The Lord led the people through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. It is true that they were in the wilderness but God was with them. This wilderness journey was not only for Israel but for each one of us. Though you may go through a wilderness, you are not desolate or deserted. You are not people forsaken. You may feel that your hopes and dreams are unfulfilled or maybe you are walking a lonely path, yet God remains faithful. You are not alone, for God is with you. It is only in the wilderness that we discover the reality of God’s presence and the sweetness of communion with Him.
  2. A PLACE OF DEFINITE PURPOSE: “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip saying, Arise and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert” (Acts 8:26). Wilderness is a place of definite purpose. Philip had a thriving ministry in Samaria. He was winning souls for the Lord in the small town of Samaria. The angel of the Lord spoke to him and said, “Philip, arise and go to Gaza.” And he arose and went without questioning God. He had to leave Samaria and go to a desert. It would not have been easy for him but God had a great plan of salvation for the nation of Ethiopia through the Ethiopian eunuch. God’s ways are sometimes mysterious yet marvellous. When Philip left Samaria, he was totally ignorant of God’s purpose, but when he baptized the eunuch, he would have rejoiced and thanked the Lord for the wilderness. He was instrumental in the revival of Ethiopia because he was obedient to the voice of the Lord. When the Lord takes you through a desert experience, it is for the blessing of someone else. He wants you to be instrumental in the salvation of others. He has a definite purpose for your life. You may not understand what is happening but trust God. You will come to know it later. Just yield yourself to the Lord’s will. The Lord says, “My child, you may not understand the way I am leading you at the moment, but shortly you will understand and thank Me for the way I led you.”

“For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody” (Isaiah 51:3).