In this time of isolation, it may be easy to feel like you’re in a “wilderness” season. This time might bring feelings of loneliness or even spiritual dryness and you may feel tempted to give into frustration, laziness, or a myriad of other things. If you are feeling any of this, then now is a good time to look to Jesus and see how he responded when he was in a time of wilderness – literally, in his case.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
This verse shows clearly the humanity of Jesus. Like us, he experienced hunger and temptation. Jesus responds to the temptation of the devil by telling him Scripture, which both refutes the demands of the devil and shows how Jesus had internalized Scripture. Though human, Jesus was still fully the Word of God and had God the Father with him.
If you look back to chapter three, you see the baptism of Jesus. This moment launched Jesus into his ministry. Here, all three members of the Trinity are present.
The text says: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v. 16-17)
Jesus had not begun his ministry and already he was declared loved by and pleasing to the Lord. He could go into the temptation in the wilderness and into his ministry calling from a place of confidence, because he was fully loved by the Father. He had the word of God and the power of his love within him.
If this is how Jesus started out, how much more should we find our security in God’s love and word?
If you are struggling to feel secure in God’s love, respond with Scripture, like Jesus did in the wilderness. Below are some verses about God’s love. Memorize them and repeat them to yourself throughout the day to reflect on God’s great love for you!
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
Ephesians 3:17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
1 John 4:8 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”
Psalm 63: 3 “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!”