You shall remember all the ways which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not (Deut. 8:2, NASB).
During my prison ministry I met an inmate who became my friend. Once I told him about some things that had been discouraging me. After listening to me he quoted the above verse. This verse gave me insight for my trials I had never considered.
The verse above explains why the Israelites remained in the wilderness. They wandered so they would be humbled. God also wanted to reveal what was in their hearts, proving whether they would keep His commandments.
The same reasons are true about our own trials. Adversity humbles us like nothing else. The wilderness tests us, proving what is in our hearts.
Trials reflect who we are. They tell us the truth about ourselves. Nothing shows what is genuine quite like adversity. Faith is easy in prosperity. But what kind of faith will we have in the wilderness?
The fruit of the wilderness is precious. A wilderness might look barren at first, but there is fruit if we search for it—probably more than what we might realize.
We should not fear the path into the wilderness. God has reasons for leading us there. For without the wilderness we would probably never discover the truth about ourselves.
Heavenly Father, help us have fruitful lives even in the most challenging circumstances. Keep us from being discouraged in the wilderness. Amen.