Duration: 365 days
Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 4:1–11
Bring up this topic the next time you’re with a bunch of buddies: “If God knows that something will tempt you, and he also knows you’ll give in to the temptation, why doesn’t he keep you from it?”
As you ponder that question for yourself, you might also wonder why God permitted Satan to tempt Jesus. The devil’s attack came at three different levels. First, Satan went after an immediate, felt need: Jesus’ hunger. Then the devil shifted to a deeper question—would God really protect Jesus? Finally, Satan tempted Jesus with the ultimate issue of authority. Jesus countered each assault with God’s Word. He didn’t argue; he answered. Even when Satan tried to attack him by misquoting Scripture, Jesus exposed the misrepresentation with a Biblical response.
How Jesus responded can help us deal with temptations. But this doesn’t answer our questions about why temptations come. Doesn’t God care? Why does God even allow us to go places where we’ll experience temptation? Again, God’s Word provides the answer: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
In other words, God does keep us from countless temptations “beyond what we can bear.” What’s more, God always provides the resources we need to overcome the temptations we face. We need only to choose whether we’ll try to handle temptations on our own or rely on God’s help and his Word to guide us through temptations as we develop wisdom, maturity and endurance.
To Take Away
- Which of Satan’s three methods of attack tend to represent the most dangerous temptations you face?
- When have you experienced God’s guidance when you faced temptations? How?
- How did Jesus fight against Satan’s temptations? What can you learn from this?
In Other Words
“Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them.” —John Bunyan
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.