Jesus was tempted for 40 days by satan. We are not told how long each temptation lasted or how often the temptation was repeated. Since satan has probably not changed his pattern of tempting humans, it was probably a constant nagging to just go ahead and do it. When the first temptation fails, he tries another tactic, always going about like a roaring lion, but having no power. The first temptation that Jesus faced was one we are all familiar with; pride: “you don’t need God, just do it yourself”. The second temptation was idolatry and greed: “just worship me and I will give you everything you want”. Why should you wait and go through all the pain and suffering when you can have it now, just by bowing down to sin? The third temptation is the sin of presumption: “You know God is going to take care of you, just go ahead and do what you want to do, it doesn’t matter”. We are told in Psalm 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” Yes, God will take care of us in dangerous situations, but to think that we can do outrageous things of our own choosing and expect God to always react is presumptuous and deadly. It is one thing to test God’s faithfulness but it is completely different to tempt Him with our foolishness. Be sober, be alert, satan is just waiting for his next opportunity to test us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!– Psalm 30:11, 12 NLT
God is so good to us all the time. He is always working for us, turning evil into good and our times of mourning into times of joy and praise. It is His heart’s desire for us to live lives full of joy. Not happiness and pleasures, which are fleshly and temporary, but abiding joy deep down in our hearts. Joy that no one can take from us.
Joy, that is not pretended or unrealistic, but joy that is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples and to us. It isn’t because we deserve it or have earned it in some way. It is simply because He loves us and wants us to love Him. He gives us His peace and joy so that we can be free to praise Him in every situation. So, that we can sing praises to Him and not be silent. It is true that there are roaring lions out there and one.in particular, that is trying to destroy our joy and us physically. It is hard to ignore a roaring lion, but as Spurgeon points out, Samson’s roaring lion yielded honey. God can produce joy and sweetness from the worst of situations.
25 “I have told you all these things while I am with you. 26 But the Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name. 27 “I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid. .—John 14:25-27 (NCV)
God has sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us. He sent the Spirit in the name of Jesus. That is the Trinity of God — Father, Son,and Spirit. They are one and the same but with different functions. God created, Jesus redeemed and the Spirit calls us to accept Jesus and be a child of God. Jesus gives us the gift of peace. It is not peace that means there are no wars or violence or problems in our lives.That is what the world thinks of as peace. But true peace, the peace that Jesus gave us is the kind that keeps us calm in the middle of a storm, in the middle of medical emergencies, financial emergencies or any other bad situation that you can name. The peace of God is available to every child of God, but we have to decide to accept it and abide in that peace, just as we had to decide to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We can accept the peace that Jesus offers us or we can hang onto our cares and worries and let the devil devour our peace and joy. 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.–1 Peter 5:6-8 (NLT)
Humbling ourselves under the hand of God means that we completely agree with Him that He can and will do exactly what He said He would do. To believe anything less than that is to deny the Omniscience, Omnipresence and the Omnipotence of the great God that we serve.
6 Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people. 7 Finding someone who would die for a godly person is rare. Maybe someone would have the courage to die for a good person. 8 Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us. 9 Since Christ’s blood has now given us God’s approval, we are even more certain that Christ will save us from God’s anger. 10 If the death of his Son restored our relationship with God while we were still his enemies, we are even more certain that, because of this restored relationship, the life of his Son will save us.–Romans 5: 6-10 (NLT)
Oftentimes, when we have sinned, whether intentionally or unintentionally, satan uses that as a spiritual weapon against us. He tells us how unworthy we are and from a human viewpoint, he is correct. But we should never let satan’s lies defeat us. God does not see us as unworthy. In fact, God sees us as worthy because His Son paid the price for our redemption. Without the blood of Jesus, we are just as unworthy now as we were before Jesus died for us. But the Trinity determined before the foundations of the earth that Jesus would die for God’s enemies. It is not a question of our worth, because we are not saved by our worth or works. It is a statement of the worth of Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord, God will never leave us nor forsake us because that would be saying that Jesus did not complete His work at the Cross. When Jesus said “it is finished”, it was finished, satan was and is defeated and satan can’t change that. So, like the wounded lion he is, satan goes about roaring lies and accusing Christians. But we should feel no condemnation and we should have no fear, because the battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s! Hallelujah!!
Romans 16:17-20 (NLT) 17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18 Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. 19 But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus[g] be with you.
If you have just accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord or if you have been a Christian for a long time, satan will always be firing His fiery darts at you and trying to make you doubt your standing with Jesus. He is a roaring lion going around seeking those he can destroy. He does this through our thought life and through other people. Those people can be people that you have always looked up to in a spiritual sense. There is only one perfect Man and that was Jesus Christ. Everyone else is going to fail in some aspect of their life. Not willingly and not intentionally, but we will fail. God tells us to ask for His forgiveness and move on. But some of us let pride get in the way and we continue in a lifestyle that is displeasing to God. These are the people that Paul is referring to here in this passage. Today, so many churches are willing to water down what the Bible says to attract bigger crowds or to please people. Measure everything you see, hear or read by the Holy Scriptures. If it doesn’t fit, then discard it and move on. This may sometimes require you to leave the church you are now attending. If it does, then go, God has a better place for you. Don’t stay in a church that does not teach Biblical truth all the time. This is wisdom and it will help you to stay obedient and innocent in God’s eyes.