Still I Honor Thee

We have all felt pain in our lives; we have all suffered at some time in our lives; we all have
experienced heartache and sadness in our lives. Whether it was a scrape or bump on our knee
while we were playing outside when we were young, the loss of a beloved pet, the loss of your
home, an end to a relationship, a cancer diagnosis, or the death of a loved one, you suffered and
you wonder why. Why is God doing this to you? Our heartache and suffering is far from
pointless! You cannot see or understand the purpose which lies beneath your pain and suffering.
It is working in you a stronger dependence on God and a deeper love for Him and His Holy
Word. Do not lose sight of the glory which is to come. Your suffering is only momentary
compared to eternal glory. Never forget that God works all things to the good of His people and
he will never let you fall outside of His perfect will.

Kimberly Pryor

 

The peace afforded us in our hope

There is peace in our sufferings on this earth. We as children of God have a peace that reprobate man does not have. Peace comes from faith in our God who gives us the hope for eternal life. He assures us that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). Through faith we understand that our afflictions are for our salvation. Through faith, our Father assures us that our current suffering cannot be compared with eternal glory: Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Our Father gives us true faith, so that we can say with Job, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25, 26).

We find in all of Paul’s writings to the churches and individuals that for the most part, he begins and ends his message with a salutation or farewell that says the following or something similar: “Grace be unto you, and peace,” which is coupled with “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The peace he speaks of always has its source in God alone. Paul understood this very well. Paul knew what suffering was. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33! Paul in this passage makes himself look like a fool for the sake of the gospel. He “boasts” of all his afflictions only to point to the source of his peace in all his afflictions.

We must put our trust in God alone, who does all things for our good. In this as believers we have a peace that passeth all understanding. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).

RK

The Second Temptation

We are busy looking at the second temptation.  In the last two weeks, we have examined two tactics Satan used in his temptation of Jesus.  Today, we will study Jesus’ answer to the devil.

First, Jesus says, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”  Jesus’ answer harks back to Deut. 6:16, where Moses says, “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.”  In Massah, the children of Israel demanded Moses that he give them water to drink (Ex. 17:1-7).  The people murmured against Moses, asking why he brought them out of Egypt to kill them with thirst.  The people tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not” (Ex. 17:7)?  Israel was saying this: “if the LORD is among us, then He will give us water; if we do not get our water, it must be that the LORD is not among us.”  The Israelites asked Jehovah to do something He revealed He was not pleased to do.  Had they not seen how He preserved them, provided for them, and protected them as they came out of Egypt?

By referring to this passage, Jesus was saying that the devil also was asking Jesus, and the Father, to do something contrary to the revealed Word.  God never said that He would send His angels to deliver one who might jump off the temple – not in Psalm 91, either.  If Jesus would jump, He would be doing so in deliberate disobedience to God’s Word.

Second, Jesus identifies Himself as the Lord God.  Jesus was the object of the devil’s temptation.  By His answer, not only was Jesus saying that the devil was tempting the Father, but that He was tempting the Son of God – Jesus Himself, very God.  That Jesus is God is clear not only from this passage, but also from all of Scripture.  In John 10:30, Jesus says, “I and my Father are one.”  Matt. 1:23 states: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Who was the devil, a created being, much less a fallen angel, to be questioning God Himself?  To be tempting God, the Lord, the ruler over all things?

We must know the dreadfulness of tempting God.  When we tempt Him, we are asking Him to do something He said He is not pleased to do.  How horrible our tempting God is!  We, the creation, are demanding something of the Creator; we, the lowly clay, are shouting at the potter.  We do not trust God, or even acknowledge His existence, unless he fulfills our stipulations.  Tempting God is a horrible thing indeed.

What were some implications of Jesus’ answer?  In the first place, Jesus’ life would be full of suffering.  He would not tread the easy, wide path.  We, too, can count on a life full of hardship.  Satan seeks every day to capitalize on our impatience.  He knows our sinful flesh all too well.  But we ought not to find the quick way out of our suffering, for a life full of sorrow is God’s will for us.  Suffering, as the Bible tells us, is not an abnormality, but is the reality of the Christian life!

In the second place, Jesus indicated that He would not perform a stunt (throwing Himself down from the pinnacle and being caught by angels) in order to impress the people below, and prove His Sonship.  Rather, His would be the path of unpopularity and mocking from without.  We too, young people, must not look to walk a path of popularity in this world.  If you and I enjoy the approval of men, there may be something wrong with our walk.  To resist the devil’s temptations will also make us unattractive to the wicked, and invite the reproach of others.

The path is difficult.  Only by God’s grace do we tread this winding, rocky, treacherous road of suffering.  But be assured, Jesus our high priest will carry us the whole way through.  He is faithful.  He knows the temptations we face, and He runs to our aid in the time of trouble.

The third temptation, next time.

RB