John Bevere and his wife, Lisa, are the founders of Messenger International, a ministry committed to developing followers of Jesus who transform the world. Bevere’s resources have been translated into about 90 languages and given to pastors and leaders worldwide. Bevere has written 21 books, such as “The Bait of Satan” and “Undercover.” His latest release is “God, Where Are You?!” Bevere and his wife have four adult sons and reside in Colorado.
What does it mean to be in the wilderness?
No matter the dim situations we find ourselves in, God isn’t surprised or shaken while seated on heaven’s throne, but remains sovereign.
“A wilderness is a season and time period that has a purpose,” Bevere said. “Many people in the wilderness have a wrong perspective and don’t see that. For example, if you come to Colorado and get on a chairlift with your snowboard, helmet, goggles and snowsuit, and jump off only to fall flat on your face because you realize it’s summer time. When we don’t understand the season we’re in and its purpose, we’re going to behave incorrectly.”
Bevere recalls a season when he was angry with his spouse, family, pastor and coworkers.
“I had a 14-karat gold ring,” Bevere added. “Fourteen parts out of 24 parts is gold. Ten parts is other metals. God asked me, ‘Does your ring look like a pure, gold ring? What happens if you put it in the furnace and heat it up 1,000 degrees?’ I said, ‘It will liquefy. The lighter metals will come to the surface.’ God then said, ‘You didn’t know those impurities were there until the ring went into the furnace, but they were always there, you just couldn’t see them. You keep asking where’s your anger and bitterness coming from? They were invisible to you, but visible to Me. I’ve allowed you to come into the furnace to see what was already within you.’”
Are we alone in the wilderness?
Bevere gave five examples to remind us we’re in good company.
>Joseph endured 19 years before his dream became a reality.
>Moses spent 40 years in a desert before saving Israel from slavery.
>John the Baptist spent 30 years in a desert training for a six-month ministry in Judea.
>David waited 12 years living in caves and deserts before being crowned king.
>Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert prior to launching His ministry.
What are some poor ways of dealing with difficulty?
Adversity is inevitable, but we can add salt to our suffering if we’re not self-aware.
Bevere shared two go-to struggles.
>Pride: “Will we use God’s power and anointing to draw people to themselves or use it to glorify God?”
>Complaining: “God explained to me, ‘Complaining is an affront to my character. It says to me, “God, I don’t like what you’re doing in my life. I was in Your place, I would do things differently,”’” Bevere said.
How should we view seasons of suffering?
In trying times, we tend to start with our shortcomings instead of being stirred toward God’s goodness.
“When God’s presence and promises seem nowhere to be found and are millions of miles away, it’s not a time of rejection,” Bevere said. “The wilderness is not God’s punishment for us because Jesus already took our punishment. It is a time of preparation. For example, God only intended Israel to be in the wilderness for one year. It was a training ground to go in and take the Promised Land, but because of their repeated complaining, they spent an entire generation there.”
Bevere said we must keep walking while waiting for a breakthrough.
“The Bible says, ‘For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross,’” he said. “Jesus didn’t look at the cross, which was the short-term effect. Instead, He looked at the long-term effect, that He would have many sons and daughters and a people that love Him. When we see things through the short-term lens, we’re going to make wrong choices. Joseph looked at that promise for 19 years before it was fulfilled. Why do we give up when we don’t see what we wanted in one year? You’ll never lose obeying the Word of God.”