Summary: This sermon is about Elijah the Prophet and the result of his defeat of Jezebel

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The Wilderness Experience

Matthew 26:69-75

When Jesus finished sharing the Passover with the disciples, he took Peter, James and John with him to the Garden of Gethsemane. The Gospels describe Jesus as “sorrowful and troubled.”

The Gospel of John in chapter 21 reports that Jesus appeared to the disciples as they were fishing

In the Bible, the wilderness was both a geographic place, barren and harsh, and a metaphor for those times when life is difficult and filled with adversity. Wilderness experiences are seasons of loss, opposition, betrayal, abandonment, despair or failure

The question isn’t if you are going to have a wilderness experience in your life but rather

1. How will you respond?

2. What will you receive and learn from it?

Wilderness experiences will either push you away from God or draw you closer to God. It’s there that we can experience God’s presence

If we let them, wilderness experiences can be a rich time of personal and spiritual growth in both our understanding of God and ourselves. It’s not that God causes wilderness experiences, often they’re the result of

The Wilderness Experience

1. God is more concerned with our character than our comfort

2. Growth takes place in tension

Like going to the gym to lift weights and cause growth in our muscles, the wilderness experience can cause tension in our lives and circumstances which can lead to change and growth. They can become a catalyst for change. What we find is that if there’s not an intense catalyst

God doesn’t cause pain but can use the pain of the wilderness experience to challenge and change us to become…cross

3. God allows us to work through the wilderness

Most of the time, we would rather avoid the wilderness experience. We call on God to remove us. We try everything we can to go around it, avoid it and sometimes even simply ignore it rather than experience it. But the wilderness still remains and must be dealt with. God doesn’t remove

the Apostle Paul’s experience where in 2 Corinthians 11:24 he writes about his sufferings which included beatings, being stoned with rocks, being shipwrecked, in danger from rivers, bandits, fellow Jews, and Gentile. sleep deprivation, hunger and being cold and naked. And on top of that he says, “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10

Causes of the Wilderness Experience

1. Personal crisis

which is usually the result of sin in our lives and causes us to re-evaluate our life. Your life isn’t over, but you begin to feel the pain of your sin, its impact and begin to see the errors of your ways. Yet, the truth is that a personal crisis

2. Relational crisis

We are lied to, hurt or betrayed by someone closest to us, sometimes we even think it might be God. The reality is that we are often wounded the deepest by those closest to us. But a relational crisis can also occur when God often uses a friend

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