PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to be a Christian to face severe trials, tests and temptations. Everyone will face them. To successfully endure and overcome them , you MUST know these Truths.
Jesus has shown His disciples the way to resist the devil and to overcome times of testing and of temptations. But, you must be His devoted follower.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came” Matthew 4:1-3
Our last study was from Matthew 26:41, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).
The word “Temptation” as used here describes a “trial, a testing, a proving trial.
- It is the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy; the enticement to sin, arising from personal desires or from the outward circumstances;
- In this case it is the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand;
- It also show the condition of a person, a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness;
- It comes from adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.
Jesus set the example and showed us why God sends trials and temptations our way. He tested His own son to show us what to expect and how we are to react. Notice:
1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit – God initiates the trials.
2. Into the wilderness – No food, no water, no resources, no earthly help for 40 days.
3. To be tempted by the devil – In a weakened state, alone.
This part of the Judean desert or wilderness could be arid, fiercely hot and waterless. There were predatory animals prowling and roving bands of thieves. Imagine how the dangers of geography, climate and the barren landscape could affect and test your body, mind and spirit.
Then, “after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came” Matthew 4:1-3
This is the condition and these are the type of circumstances which will truly prove a disciple. Jesus deliberately and willingly followed The Spirit into a hostile wasteland to be tested.
In a desperate physical condition, Jesus was tempted by Satan, first with His physical need of food.
Next, His soul was tempted with pride of life.
Finally, His Spirit was tempted with glory and honor.
Jesus was tried, tempted and tested and He overcame the temptations of the Body, the Soul and the Spirit. He has shown us the way!
We would do well to study this and commit it to memory so in that time of temptation and testing you will also say,
1. ‘I SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
2. ‘I SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD MY GOD TO THE TEST.’”
3. ‘I SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD MY GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
Then, and only then, the devil will leave you; and even the angels will come and minister to you. (see Matthew 4:11)
Be encouraged by the words of the Apostle Peter when he said, “
1 Peter 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Dear friends, the let’s finish this race as to obtain the Prize!
Your Brother and Friend,