Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:2-4 NIV
God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. He designed our life path especially for each of us individually. No one's path is like another. They may parallel sometimes, but they are never alike. And they are always, always for good and not evil. God's plans are good, you can trust that. So what about the times we find ourselves walking in the desert? How does that happen?
Many times we put ourselves there. Just like the Israelites, we disobey what God has told us to do and it puts us in a state of wandering around in desolation, while we think about what we've done. It's a sort of Divine Timeout. I'm not fond of being put in timeout by God, but while I'm there I try to learn from it and hopefully not repeat what I did to get put there in the first place! But what about when you absolutely know that you've done everything right and you still find yourself walking in the desert?
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. ~Ephesians 6:14-17
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:11-12
The enemy will use whatever tactic he can to distract you and trip you up. He will even use other people. If he can cause you doubt, worry, hurt your feelings, or even make you wonder, then you've been distracted from your calling and may miss a Divine Appointment.