Friday, February 28
The heading in my Bible refers to this time of temptation as, “Jesus is tested in the wilderness.” Have you ever been tested? Or had a period when you were forced to depend on God? I can only imagine that that is what it feels like when one is forced to live on the streets with no food or shelter, or when one is so sick that medicine and doctors cannot help. I know some have had these experiences.
What I noticed studying this passage is that first Jesus is tested to rely on God for everything and then Jesus shares how he was tempted by Satan after the time of testing. Jesus perseveres, tells Satan to take a hike, and does not succumb to the high-stakes opportunity.
For me, temptations come in many forms all day long. Giving in, in hindsight seems to be such a ridiculous thing and yet it is sometimes my path of least resistance, things I do without thinking, habits that I haven’t mustered the courage to send off on a hike because I find temporary comfort in them. When I see the temptation for what it is, I pull out my favorite scripture, 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):
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.
I sometimes recite it multiple times to help me focus on God and God’s plan for wholeness.
Prayer: Lord of heaven and earth, help me to look to you for guidance in everyday situations and decisions to follow your plan for my life as Jesus persevered to follow Your plan for his life. Amen.