Time of temptation
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. Luke 4:1-2
I think some people imagine that if you follow Jesus, all your problems miraculously disappear. With him on your side, you will be sure to have a life overflowing with peace, joy, love and smiling people. But the truth is different. When you follow Jesus, you can be sure that there will be challenges. That was certainly Jesus’ experience.
Having just been baptised in the river Jordan, Jesus was led by the Spirit into a time of prolonged temptation. He was going to be tested to the limit. 40 days without food is an incredible challenge to face in any environment but, in the wilderness, it would have been even more demanding.
The Judaean desert would have been desperately hot during the day and uncomfortably cold at night. In addition, there would have been the challenge from wild animals. But this was all part of God’s perfect plan for his son.
I believe that the Holy Spirit wants to guide us each day in all that we do. He wants to be part of our family life, work, relationships, sport and hobbies. But that doesn’t mean that we will never face another problem.
As he guides us, we will often have to face up to immense challenges and times of failure and loss. This may not be what we want to hear. We would all love our lives to flow smoothly and happily, but what matters is the Holy Spirit is with us. He is there beside us, guiding and strengthening us through all the twists and turns of life.
When we face times of temptation, as we all will, we shouldn’t be surprised. But we can rely on the Spirit’s presence with us.
When did you last face a time of temptation and how did you cope with it?
Loving God, thank you that you are with me in every part of life, and that you give me strength to face every temptation. Amen