“By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” — Exodus 13:21
A wilderness experience is when a person or group goes through continuous disappointments and often gets discouraged or even depressed. When the Israelites went through the wilderness for 40 years, they traveled through areas where crops did not grow. In these barren and isolated places, the people cried out to God because they didn’t know what to do. When we experience these long dry spells, we learn more about God’s power and goodness as He carries us through tough times.
As the Lord quenched the thirst of the people long ago, He still promises to meet our needs today. Sometimes God led the panicked Israelites to water, like in Exodus 15:22-27, and other times He performed a miracle and brought water up through rock, like in Numbers 20:1-11.
During the entire 40-year journey, God led and protected His people as they learned about His faithfulness. “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Exodus 13:21-22). The Lord is still a constant guiding presence for His people today. Look to Him.
The Bible teaches us that God can handle anything. “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17). We can relax and not be overwhelmed by our challenges because God has overcome the world, and He’ll give us strength to overcome our challenges and temptations too.
As Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania Georgia
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