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GROWING IN CHRIST

"From the Mountaintop to the Valley"

Date published: 07/09/2011

Mark 1:11-12 “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are My Son, Whom I love; with You I am well pleased.’ At once the Spirit sent Him out into the desert.” (NIV)

What a great moment that must have been for Jesus to have His Father’s confirmation on how pleased He was with Him.  Can you visualize your delight in having approval and acceptance - not just from anyone, but from God the Father - THE MAN?!!  How then would you interpret God’s purpose to go from having the ultimate confirming experience with God to having a desert experience with Him?  This represented the two extremes that would challenge your faith.  You are taken from the ultimate place of contentment from experiencing God’s praise for your work to being taken to the desert where you are put through testing and hardships.  It is easy to walk with Jesus when times are good, but how is your relationship affected during difficult times?  What kept Jesus from faltering in His relationship with His heavenly Father when He was slapped with a “Go to the desert card?”  No matter the circumstances, Jesus knew His Father from the relationship He had with Him.  Jesus lived in the confidence and contentment of His heavenly Father’s relationship.  Can you say the same regardless of the circumstances?  Are you cultivating a relationship with Jesus that helps you distinguish between the desert being a negative experience compared to the opportunity for God’s hand to be shone through refinement or direction?  Learn to hear and respond to God’s will in good and bad times.  Order your life around Jesus so that you can recognize and experience His presence and direction no matter the circumstances. 

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us.” (NIV)