Posts Tagged ‘Temptations


Tests, Trials and Temptations! Oh my!

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This is the first message in our new series based on the book of James.  This message is based on James 1:1-18.



Working It Out For Good

NOTE: This post is based on a post from September, 2013.

On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, 2 because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaamto call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) – Nehemiah 13:1-2 (NIV)

God is amazing!  We read throughout Scripture that He is able to take bad situations and work them out for good.  I think about the life of Joseph.  I think about the crucifixion.  I think about Romans 8:28 (NIV):

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God is able to work everything – even the bad things in our lives – out for the best.  He can take our heartache and turn it into joy.  He can take our pain and turn it into strength and perseverance.  He can take our chaos and turn it into peace.  God can take the bad and turn it into good.  We have to trust Him and know that He is working it all out.  He is bigger than our problems and our battles.  He is bigger than our struggles and troubles.  He is bigger than our doubts, worries and fears.  God is good and He will work the troubles in our lives out for good.
PRAYER: My Lord and my God, help me today to see Your amazing ability to turn my struggles and weaknesses into something good.  I have doubts and failures and troubles and pain.  How I need You to give me strength to overcome them.  How I need You to take the bad things of my life and make them good.  I know and believe that You can do that, O God.  Thank You for hearing my prayer, amen.

The Mountain Maker

God’s Spirit brought Jesus to the desert to be tested (the Greek word can mean tempted or tested) by Satan.  Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights and He was hungry.  The devil shows up and tests Jesus in three ways.  The first was to turn stones into bread.  Could Jesus have done it?  Absolutely.  He could do anything!  But Jesus quotes Scripture and says that God’s Word was the only food He really needed and He would be satisfied with it.  The second was to test the Truth of God’s Word.  Again, Jesus quotes Scripture to the devil and says that one does not put the Lord God to the test.  Finally, the devil takes Jesus up on a high mountain and shows Him all of the wealth and kingdoms of the world.  If Jesus would bow down and worship Satan, then He could have it all.  Jesus quotes Scripture a third time and says that only God the Father was worthy of worship.  He commands the devil to leave Him and angels came to attend to Him.
Mountaintop experiences are often thought of as good things.  When we feel like we are closest to God, we describe it as though we are on a mountain.  It is when we are going through difficult times of testing and trial that we feel as though we are in a valley (think of Psalm 23 where David describes periods of his life when he was walking through the valley of death’s shadow – Ps. 23:4).  The mountaintop experiences are good and walking in the valley is bad.  Jesus’ experience on a mountain in Matthew 4 was not an experience of God, but instead was much different.  He was tested and tempted by the enemy.  A place that represents strength and security became a place of testing and trial.  The same may be true in our lives from time to time.  When we feel like we are closest to God is when the enemy may come and put us to the test.  When we feel like we are safe, the enemy sees it as an opportunity to divert our attention.  The enemy is crafty and cunning.  The enemy is deceptive and dangerous.  Remember that God is our source of strength and power.  It is not the mountain, but the mountain Maker who gives us our true security.  Let us put our trust in Him as the One who will protect us and keep us safe.

Matthew 4

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

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