Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 20, 2011

purposefully yield

Everyone experiences hard places. They vary in degree, but no one is exempt. When our journey takes the unexpected turn to a place of difficulty, our minds respond with immediate questions. I am confident in God’s sovereignty; thankful for His grace and sure of His love for me, but my logical self often cries out “why?!“. I want life to make sense. After all, I try to do things right, help others and honor Him. You may have some of the same struggles that I face in trying to figure out God’s design for the hard places. Part of my mental fatigue is that my logical self thinks it knows best, when in reality God knows what is best. Growth for me (you) comes when I begin to let my thinking become purposefully yielded to His knowing.

Three times in the last three weeks I have read about an event that qualifies as a hard place for Christ. In a similar circumstance, my first response could easily revert to those dreaded why questions. Think about it, God the Spirit led God the Son into the desert to be tempted by the devil. On the surface, it made no sense.

Matthew 4:1
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

Mark 1:12-13
At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan.

Luke 4:1
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

From my viewpoint, this would have been difficult beyond description. Christ stayed in the desert for forty days, fasted, was with wild animals, and to top it off He was tempted by Satan. But God had a purpose for sending Christ into the desert. At least one of the great benefits from this hard place was the model every true Christ follower has been given to thwart the attacks of Satan. Christ used God’s Word against Satan, and so can we. God’s design for Christ always had a purpose, and so it is with us.

You may have already hit a hard place this year. Did your logical self start with the questions? Mine has! To be honest, our humanity pretty much guarantees the why questions. God understands this, but I think the bigger question is this … Does God (who knows what is best) have the right to re-direct our journeys to the desert? Of Course He does! It is my opinion that His good purpose for all Christ followers will involve hard places. That does not make them any easier to navigate or endure, but when our thinking is purposefully yielded to His knowing, we will have greater perspective and more peace.

Sometimes the hard places are born out of our own failures. At other times, the Father leads us into a hard place to stretch and grow our faith. Regardless of why we are in the desert, our Father will give grace and guidance, and will always be sufficient. When we hurt, He cares. His purpose is always good–even when our hard place doesn’t make sense in the midst of it. Accept that you will sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions that ask “why?!” In those times, call out to Him and purposefully yield your thinking to His knowing.



  1. What a great reminder –thanks Mike

  2. Life is great!!
    Yesterday is History
    Tomarrow is a mistory
    Today is a present!!
    God gives uds the Present just enjoy it and make the best of it.
    Thanks Bill Lance

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