FOCUS: Meditate on the passage and write down your thoughts and observations OR do a S.O.A.P. study and select one verse to focus upon.
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Scripture: "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him." —Mark 1:12-13 [FULL CONTEXT]
Observation: Immediately after Jesus' baptism, the Holy Spirit compels Him to seek isolation in the desert, and Jesus is immediately exposed to adversity. He didn't shy away from the command of the Spirit, knowing full well He would be tempted by a fallen angel and living among wild animals. Jesus willingly and bravely entered the next forty days of loneliness and hardship without question.
This reminds me of when I first became a Christian. Almost immediately after I'd accepted Christ, the man who was discipling me said, "Now, you need to know that Satan is going to come after you." It was a shocking thing to say to someone who had just accepted this new faith, but it makes so much sense. The same thing happened to Jesus!
Application: Jesus showed us bravery by going out into the desert alone to face temptations and hardship. God asks us to be brave too, and we don't need to fear because God is always with us (Luke 12:7).
God doesn't promise to keep us from hardships. Instead, He promises that all things will work together for our ultimate "good" (Romans 8:28). That "good" can look a lot of different ways though, and sometimes it looks like adversity, hardship, and persecution.
But I do believe that all hardship comes down to affecting our spiritual growth. After all, Romans 8:18 says we ought to "consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Who knows what an act bravery will lead to in the future?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of bravery we see in Jesus. Help me to be brave in the face of adversity and temptation. Remind me that you are with me always and that whatever the outcome, it will be for my good—no matter what that looks like. Amen.