30 Nov Luke 1:80; James 1:2 – 4

80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

James 1:2 – 4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah and Elisabeth and the earthly cousin of Jesus. He was the fore-runner of Christ and his call was to prepare the way of the Lord. This final verse tells us that John spent years in the desert before he began his ministry. The desert is not a fun place. Many of us have figuratively spent time in the desert and know how effective it is in preparing us for life and ministry. It is in the desert where we begin to see what the real issues of life are. When one comes to the end of his life and knows he has but days to live, he begins to reflect on what he did with his life. Before you come to that time, the wilderness experiences can give you that kind of perspective. We have a new identity in Christ. Use the truth that you are in Christ help you focus your life on the things that will last. You may struggle through some dark times, but in the end, you will have no regrets.