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Wilderness Renewal - Encouragement Café - May 13

  • 2020 May 13

Wilderness Renewal
 By Olivia Barnes

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Psalm 63:3 KJV

At this time many of us have had our normal routines thrown upside down, unable to take part in our usual activities, even meeting with other believers for fellowship. Has this left you feeling at a loss, as though you are in a metaphorical wilderness, due to the uncertainty and isolation?

If this is you, remember God is still in the wilderness. The wilderness does not need to be a time of wandering, of bareness. Make it a time to meet with Him, a time of rejoicing in God and His faithfulness. Hagar met God in the wilderness (Genesis 16:13-14; 21:17-20); Moses saw God in the wilderness (Exodus 3:1-4); as did Elijah (1 Kings 19:4-18). God will meet you where you are.

In Psalm 63 David was out of his comfort zone. This Psalm was most likely written while David was in the wilderness of Judah, on the run during Absalom’s rebellion (2 Samuel 15); on the run from his own son. His special advisor had also betrayed him, joining forces with Absalom.  His friends and family had turned their back on him and yet he states in verse 8: “my soul followeth hard after thee”, or is glued to thee.  He did not let his external circumstances impact his pursuit of God.

David was in the wilderness but it was not in David, he did not let it stop him from pursuing God. The trouble is not the disappointments or circumstances that we face, but how we let them affect us. As Corrie Ten Boom stated, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest”.

If you look at the situation David was in, if you look at this time in his life you would likely say that he had every right to be bitter, to be bitter against family, friends, to be bitter at God… but he wasn’t.  David had lost everything he possessed in this world, but he was satisfied with God “my soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness” (v.5).  He found blessing and praise, “and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (v.5). Not just praise, but praise with “joyful lips”.

Praise expresses gratitude, joy, affection, appreciation. David recognized that his circumstances did not change who God is. In his pursuit of God David found confidence, “but the king shall rejoice in God” (v.11). He had lost his possessions and power, but not his confidence in God.

Let your wilderness experience not simply be defined as a time of struggle, but let this wilderness experience of 2020 be one that can be described as a time of renewal, of growing closer to God, proclaiming as the Psalmist that we are satisfied because we have God, praising Him and abiding in Him. 

Start your day with Psalm 63 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee… to see thy power and thy glory” (v.1-2).

Lord, thank You. Thank You that You are unchanging, that no matter the turmoil around us You remain the same, yesterday, today and forever. I thank You Lord that “thou art my God”. Lord, that You would give me a thirst like never before, so that I would come out of these current circumstances proclaiming Your goodness and lovingkindness with joyful lips. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2020 by Olivia Barnes.  All rights reserved.

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