our hearts are tested in the wilderness

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness [Hebrews 3:7,8 ESV]

What do you think of when you hear the word 'wilderness'? I think of a place where there are no creature comforts like running water or electricity. The Israeli journey from Egypt was through such a place. At times, no food and no water. The people were bitter about their hard circumstances.

In the wilderness they complained. Their hearts hardened as they wondered if God was with them. The wilderness tests our hearts like nothing else. In times of deep distress we are tempted to envision God as the author of our pain. As we give in to the temptation our hearts harden just a bit more.

In contrast, those who see God differently are able to keep their hearts soft in the wilderness.

The key is how we see God. Do we imagine Him to be the one who controls our every step and leads us into pain? Or do we believe Him to be one who walks at our side in the dark times? One who loves us at each step and hears our every prayer. How we see God is the key to keeping our hearts soft.

Thank you Lord for walking with us in the wilderness.

... this devotion is part of a series about the book of Hebrews.

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