The Bible is teeming with examples of this: Noah and the ark, the Israelites in the wilderness before they entered the promised land, Jesus tempted in the wilderness before He began his ministry.
Testing produces eternal fruit, and prepares us in advance for the calling God has placed upon our lives.
"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands... He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you". - Deuteronomy 8 verses 2,16 NIV
However, it must not be discounted that times of testing are difficult and stressful. If we are not careful, we can bring baggage from our past difficulty with us into our deliverance, into our promised land, and ultimately into our future.
When we are brought out of the wilderness, we must be intentional to not allow the wilderness to remain in us. But, How?
1. Allow yourself to accept the fact that you need God to comfort you through the transition
You have been through something difficult, God knows it and He does not expect you to pick yourself up on your own. It is not selfish or unreasonable to ask for His loving presence to bring you back to wholeness. It also doesn't mean you lack faith.
"I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight." –Psalm 119 verses 75-77
It is possible and necessary to both acknowledge your trust in God's discipline and plan and also express your need for his comforting presence. Do not be tricked by the lie that your reaction must be either one or the other; do both.
2. Confront your fears for the future, tell them to God
Do not be afraid to tell God the secret fears of your heart after your wilderness season. "Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord…"(Isaiah 1 verses 18). God can handle your honesty, and He longs to meet you where you are. Rather than pretending they don't exist, present your anxieties about life before the loving Father who will wipe every tear away (Revelation 21 verse 4). The devil wants to use your residual fear from a tough experience to keep you far from God. Don't let him.
3. Fill your heart and mind with the Word of God
When we have a tough experience, it can be especially easy to remain discouraged even when our circumstance is changed. This is when we must cling to the Word for our renewal. Psalm 119 verse 25 says, "I lie in the dust; revive me by your word." Fill yourself with the nourishment of God's word, and watch your fears be redeemed into faith afresh.
It may be a process, but God will get the wilderness out of you just as surely as he got you out of the wilderness. Your job now is to keep your heart open to him, and allow for His healing to take place in your life. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart (Psalm 91 verse 4 NLT), and he will be faithful to complete the good work He began in you (Philippians 1 verse 6 paraphrased).
One final word: if you are currently in the midst of a wilderness season, God's promise to you is that it will end. Do not be tempted to despair that your problems will never go away. Your heavenly father is faithful; Keep holding on, keep believing, and He will bring you through victorious. You are more than a conqueror through He who loves you (Romans 8 verse 37 paraphrased).
Tina Hakimi is an Arizona-raised, Sydney-based writer working to complete her doctorate in Vision Science at the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about the Word of God, scientific research, and how the two serve to strengthen and affirm one another.
Tina Hakimi's previous articles may be viewed at