As I look outside the window I see lifeless trees, dead grass, and a more expensive electric bill. When the seasons change from spring to summer and summer to fall, it’s not nearly as drastic as the change from fall to winter, especially in Michigan. Winter is coming and I can’t do anything about it.
Winter is depressing to me, but whenever we see the hope of summer at the end of a long bleak winter wilderness, it suddenly doesn’t matter what the thermometer reads. Winter has tried its best to drown out hope, but hope is hard to eradicate.
The truth is that we all face a winter of sorts in our lives. Whether it be marital conflict, spiritual deadness, loose living, lost friendships, abusive past or present relationships, or maybe winter could be a sports or school related issue. When our winter wilderness arrives it seems our lives become devoid of warmth, and we go through the motions. We get tempted to push away our friends because they don’t understand what we are going through; we get tempted to take short cuts and to blame others for how we are feeling.
Jesus himself was led into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil; He ate nothing and became hungry (Luke 4:1-13). At the end of the temptations in the wilderness the bible records in Luke 4:14 that, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.”(Emphasis added). Jesus was led into the wilderness and was tempted; after the wilderness (maybe because of or through the wilderness) he returned ‘in the power of the Spirit’. There is hope for those of us in a winter wilderness.
But why did Jesus come back with power?
For some of us we’ve been in the wilderness so long that we start to question the meaning of life or the reason to live, maybe we are unsure what it would be like to come out of the wilderness. For others, we are convinced that the wilderness is the only place for us because of things that we have done or are doing now. But the truth is that Jesus didn’t come out of the wilderness just because of his personal strength; He came out of the wilderness because He knew what he had to do to bring others out of the wilderness too.
Later on in Jesus ministry He was betrayed over to those who wanted to kill him. His friends abandoned Him and he was strung up on a cross to be killed (Luke 22-23). He was buried and rose again on the third day. He conquered death so that we could live! He brought us close so that we could feel his warm embrace. He loves us so much that He accepts us where we are, but He loves us much too much to let us stay that way.
The only hope that leads us out of winter and into spring is the warmth of the Son. Others may seem to have it all together but the only true hope is through Jesus Christ.
Whatever you are facing today take heart in Jesus, for He has overcome, and so can you.
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