LTP 24- Finding Good News In Harsh Places

by | Mar 30, 2016

In this podcast Episode, David Loveless talks about how good news is birthed in harsh places.

Listen to the Audio

Here is a brief summary of today’s episode of “The Live True Podcast.”  You can use this as a reference or reminder of key things you feel like you need to pay attention to or pass on to others, in the next 7 days of your life.

For most of us, we’ve believed that good news is birthed in good places, not harsh places.  But Mark 1 turns that notion on its ear.

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Mark 1:1-4  The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:  “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness/desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness/Desert, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

 I’m drawn toward the fact that the beginning of the good news… the birthplace of the good news is in the desert.- where it feels like bad news.

Listen to David’s examples, in today’s audio podcast, of his time in both deserts and gardens.

All of living, loving, & leading seem to flow on a continuum

between garden and desert experiences.

Garden experiences Desert experiences
Promised land

Lush

Abundance

Joyful

Easy

No mans land

Barren

Scarcity

Painful

Difficult

It’s interesting to me that our spiritual story begins in a garden in Genesis 2:8… and our biological story begins in a garden-like womb.

But, look where we’re first introduced to the ministry of Jesus —in the desert.  God’s Good News Tour doesn’t open on top of a scenic mountain or in a palatial garden. It starts from a place of isolated emptiness.

Listen to the audio podcast as David describes how he reacted over the years, to have desert-like experiences and what was the result of them.

 Luke 3: 4-6   “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.  The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.  And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

In your place of difficulty or temptation or hardship where you feel most exposed to enemies activity… God says make a straight path for me there and let me walk there…  let me walk in the desert place of your life and let’s walk straight into it and straight through it.

Here is another part of challenge of Luke 3: many people never step foot in the church because they don’t feel welcomed or invited.  They see the church as an exclusionary institution, that decides who’s right and who’s wrong.

The church often makes mountain tops higher

and the valleys deeper for people to get through.

It tends to turn the whole thing into an obstacle course.

But the job of true religion is to make it easy for people to understand and draw close to the very thing they were made for.

Here’s several things I had to ‘get straight’ in my desert…

A.   I had to ‘get straight’ in my mind that this path, while difficult beyond description, was going somewhere profoundly good and it wasn’t to hell.

B.   I had to ‘get straight’ in my mind that this path, wasn’t going to last forever…. even though I could see no other road ahead.

Jesus came bringing this good news.  And a part of what makes it so good is that it stands up to the heat of even the most difficult places.

Where is your desert?  Your place of need?

Wherever that place is for you, God says let me walk with you THERE, because I’m not ashamed of it anymore than I am ashamed of you.  I’m good news to you in the desert, as well as the garden.  I love you. I’m with you…wherever you are.

Here are some amazing words from Isaiah 35:

Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower—Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color.  Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”

Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert. Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain.

The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing as they make their way home, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,  Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

David finishes this podcast with a blessing for you in your desert places.

To find out more, listen to this podcast in its entirety by clicking on the play button.

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