By Benjamin H. Liles
"You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst" (Nehemiah 9:20, New King James). We see that by this that God, once He sets those free from slavery and bondage, sustains those He loves by His right hand. It is why a bit later we read, "Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world'" (John 6:31-33, New King James).
As I begin this I admit that I often feel discouraged. Even now, in this moment I feel that way. But does it mean I should give up n my faith? Should I buckle under the pressure and abandon all hope that God gave to me from the very start? I doubt that God would honor me enough if I were to give up the faith I have in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Also if I were to simply give up just because I feel discouraged then i can't stand the simplest of times when God desires I withstand my own desert experiences.
The whole point of this article is to bolster those of you in those moments as i am in. We have walked and talked with God, we feel His presence, and then somewhere along the way things feel they have gone south. The desert winds rip through our souls, drying up any fire we once had. Scripture tells us, "A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice" (Isaiah 42:3, New American Standard).
It may not make sense to us at the moment, but this bruised reed stands in our place. His name is Jesus Christ. If you recall His Gethsemane experience, Jesus is before God, crying out in His sorrow, His desert moment, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42, Berean Study). You see Jesus went in our place, before us, to experience the harshness of life, to be tried, scourged, and punished so that we wouldn't have to be.
My friend, God allowed Jesus to go in our place so we wouldn't have to remain separated from Him. He did this not to be known as a killer of His own Son, but He spared us from sin and death. He allowed His Son who was righteous and without sin, to become those things--sin and to die in our place. Why? So He could reconcile us to Himself. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense. It doesn't make sense to me either. The whole point is that we resolve within ourselves, by the grace and strength of His Holy Spirit, to remain faithful and steadfast in Him.
This moment you are going through may seem hard and unbearable, but if we recall Jesus' words, "All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because i/ am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves" (Matthew 11:29, Holman Christian Standard). So, this then is the actual point. We should allow for these times in our lives to come to rest in God; that not only does He allow these moments to keep us filled with Him and His Spirit, to seek out the water Jesus provides us so we can remain and bloom in these periods.
Beloved, it is my opinion we go through these times as a testament of our faith Jesus Christ is Lord. When we allow Him to go before us and we have these moments we can rest in Him; we can go about the business God calls us to. We can minister to others and allow them to minister to us when we're feeling we're running low on faith. God bolsters those who continue to live in and by faith. He upholds us with the bread of heaven who has gone in our place. The bread of heaven is Christ, and it is by Him that God sustains us. I pray this helps you today in remaining in Him and being steadfast in your faith. It is with this prayer in Jesus Christ I commend you in His faith. Amen.