Today’s guest blogger is Stacie Gibson. Stacie is a certified biblical counselor with ACBC and are also in the process of becoming certified with IABC.  Stacie and her husband serve together at Grace Baptist Church in Dansville, NY and are involved with the church’s counseling ministry.  

My husband has been teaching a class at our
church called “How People Change.” I
am sure many of you that are biblical counselors are familiar with Tim Lane and
Paul Tripp’s book. The curriculum is just as excellent as the book and I have
thoroughly been enjoying it!  The class
has taught me how to respond biblically to the heat (trials) that comes into my
life and into the lives of the women I counsel.  When we don’t respond biblically, our hearts
are revealed and we will not produce fruit; but wither, dry up, and have lasting
consequences. When we respond well, look to Christ as our sympathetic High
Priest who will give us the grace and mercy we desperately need, we will be transformed
into His likeness and  bear fruit.  The Bible is a wonderful book of redemption
that points us to Christ as our rescue and help in time of need.  No matter what trial you are facing, Christ
makes a way of escape for us so that we can endure it and give God the glory.
One of my homework assignments in the class was
to read through Deuteronomy 8:2-3 and explain how God uses wilderness
wanderings in the lives of His people.
“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led
you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you
to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
And he humbled you, let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not
know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not
live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of
the LORD.”
So,
what is God up to in your wilderness wanderings?   We live
in a fallen world of struggle and difficulty. Let me share with you what I
learned about this passage to apply in my own life when I am faced with “heat.”
1.    
God uses the wilderness of our lives to help us remember the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but when I am
in a trial, I have the tendency to place my focus on myself. Trials should
remind us that the Lord is good, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in
steadfast love to those who love Him.  We
need to be thankful and look back and call to mind what the Lord has done for
us in bringing us to salvation when we were dead in our trespasses in sin. He
has now made us alive in Christ! Also, when I am going through a hard time, I
forget my identity and who I am in Christ. This is a truth that I have to
continually be reminded of.  Who you
identify yourself with will shape the way you respond.
                                                                                                           
2.    
God uses the wilderness to test you to reveal your heart
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my
brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And
let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing
. Just like the nation of Israel, God
is testing you and I so that our hearts are revealed.    This is so you may be perfect, complete,
lacking in nothing. If you don’t know where to start, ask God to search your
heart and see if there is any grievous ways in you.
3.    
The wilderness should humble you
 As we go through the wilderness, we need to
realize that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore,
let us draw near to God in the midst of adversity and He will draw near to us. Trials
help us to see that we are weak and cannot do it our own. Humility is utter
dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ and will keep us from becoming haughty and
relying on ourselves.  
4.    
He feeds you with Manna and points you to Christ.
As we go through the wilderness, we
need to be reminded daily of God’s provisions. How ungrateful and grumbly we
can be through trials and forget all that the Lord has provided for us in our
time of need! We question God’s goodness and fail to live out what we say we
believe. Jesus says in John 6:32 that He is the “true bread from heaven.” The
manna given to OT Israel was only meeting temporal, physical needs, but Christ
alone is our “true bread” that gives us eternal life that satisfies us
spiritually. Christ is the food that will never perish and help sustain you in
the wilderness.   
 Ladies, let us run through the wilderness with endurance, the race
that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith.
When Christ went to the cross, He went with joy, knowing the future reward.
Christ suffered and experienced the wrath of God so that we don’t have to. Please
don’t grow weary in the wilderness, but respond by remembering the Lord, who
rescued you out of slavery and redeemed you! Don’t waste your wilderness
wanderings, but embrace them and know that they are preparing you for an
eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
  
Stacie
Gibson is a wife to her husband Matt of 20 years and together they have four
children. Stacie is a keeper of her
home, home educator, loves to read, share God’s word with women, and spend time
with her family.

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