God is not concerned about the terrain of your wilderness as much as He is about your attitude as you go through the trial. Do you feel standing is making you better or bitter?

Standing, if done with the proper yielding, will make us better in our character. If done with rebellion and stubbornness, it will produce bitterness. You will be on a whole different battlefield. One that is against God instead of on the battlefield with God fighting for the soul of your spouse.

 Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 4 And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. 5 And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy,because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us! Romans 5:3-5 The Passion Translation 

Just about every one of us has complained about the storm/wilderness. Especially in the beginning, but this is not about that type of complaining, or for the new Stander just starting out. It’s for those who have been doing this a while and are still bitter about the place they are at – to the point where they are stuck in a position of voicing their disbelief that God is not going to restore their marriage. It’s also for those who are bitter and upset with God about being called to Stand when they really want to move on like the rest of the world is able to do.

It’s crying out in the wilderness, and this is what it sounds like.

“God’s never going to restore my marriage. My spouse hates me and is never coming home. I don’t think God wants me to Stand anymore.”

“God is silent and this suffering is not fair. The standing is what is making me suffer when I can move on and be happy.” The Israelites said they would rather go back to slavery then endure the suffering the “freedom” was bringing.

This isn’t just unbelief, it’s willful, rebellious, disobedient unbeliefcoming from an offended heart who is trying to tempt God, which means to manipulate Him into moving. God will not be tempted! When they spoke against God He said: “I will do to you the very things I heard you say.” Numbers 14:28.  Because again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. Numbers 14:22.  He said they were faithless – v. 33.

We can become so upset with God and where He has allowed us to journey that we stiffen our necks and become rebellious to His Word ON PURPOSE! We get bitter in our souls and choose to always jump to the worst conclusion, constantly speaking death over our lives instead of speaking life and making a choice to believe it.

Wherever there is suffering, there is a battle — a battle for your soul. The book of Job shows us there can be two ways to respond to suffering: one that curses God because of suffering and one that praises God, even in the midst of suffering.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10 ESV

We hear that trials and suffering are meant for our good, to change our character, (read Romans 5) but we are angry about this at times.  Hurt and offended that God is allowing this trial in this way, and we take it very personally as an attack. And through pride, we make the unconscious choice to rebel and become disobedient to living through faith and choosing to believe in the Word of God.

Look at Job, David, and Joseph. They all went through far greater tests, trials, and suffering, but they became MORE faithful instead of rebellious and disobedient.

One of the ways I hide my hurt against God is instead of outright admitting I’m upset with Him, I will get angry at people, circumstances, myself. I will blame everything BUT Him. The Israelites wanted to kill Moses and he was nothing but a messenger for God. Same with David’s men when they came back to the camp and found their families had been taken. They became bitter in soul and wanted to kill David. Cain was hurt by God’s disregard of his offering, and so he killed his brother out of the anger he held against God. See a pattern here? Anger against God brings a murdering spirit!

By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls. Luke 21:19 BSB

The real issue was how they were upset with God and why He had allowed this awful thing to happen. God saw through their deflection and called them on their attitudes. He saw their hearts and Who they were truly upset with.

Failing to understand and embrace that God is really good in a bad situation is extremely hard. Especially when you take each blow personally. Sometimes so personally that you will believe that God did the exact opposite of your prayers just to teach you a lesson. That He has some vendetta against you and is out to strip you of everything that means something to you.

Some blame God for the work of the enemy simply because God allowed it. Some of us had a very difficult relationship with our earthly dads and have a hard time realizing that God is not that dad. We don’t trust Him because our parents helped to destroy that trust.

God is not human. He is divine. He is love and YOU are His child! He is a good Father the ONLY One that really has your best interest and wants good for you. He is the only one with pure motives that won’t fail.

Will you choose to trust, love, and obey His Word even when He chooses to allow evil to touch your life and lead you through a test?

Will you be like Jesus who passed His test faithfully using the Word of God which led Him to walk in His promised ministry?  Or like the Israelites who rebelled against the Word, which led them to forfeit their promise?

The choice is yours.

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger