“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.—Romans 12:14 NIV
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.–1 Cor. 10:12,13 NIV
Because of His great love for sinners, such as us, God made His salvation plan very simple and free. Just believe! Once we are saved, we start on a journey that will require everything and every part of us. It is not easy to love all of God’s children. Even so, it is not a choice we can make, it is a command given to us by our Father. Then we must learn to obey His commandments. Through this obedience and faith in the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we can become over-comers. The flesh alone can not defeat satan in the smallest battle, we have to depend on Jesus to fight our battles. Our job is to “trust and obey”. Instead of worrying and being filled with fear, we just need to lean on Jesus. The world says “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Jesus says something totally different.
13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came. — Luke 4:13 NLT
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. — James 1:3 NLT
Some people seem to believe that God allows us to be tempted to prove something to Him. He never allows us to be tempted. He does, however, allow us to be tested by situations. The testing that He allows in our lives is for our benefit. God already knows what our response will be, but the tests allow us to know where we are in our journey with God. If we wallow in self-pity in the testing, our flesh allows the tests to turn into temptations. When we are tested, we have to make a decision to trust God with the outcome or try to fix it ourselves. If we fix it, it is always a temporary fix and we soon find ourselves back in the same old situation. If we allow God to deliver us from our troubles, we will grow in our walk with Him and He can trust us with bigger things. We are His creation and it is His right to allow the tests. The tests are always for our benefit and the outcome makes us stronger. The most fertile ground is in the lowest valley, that is where faith is put to the test. We are His prized possessions and He would never do anything to harm us. A baby will never learn to crawl or walk if we carry it all the time. Thank God that He trusts us enough to allow the tests. The testing God allows is to make us stronger and wiser. As we mature, God is able to use us more effectively in growing His Kingdom here on earth. If we don’t take care of the little things, He cannot trust us with bigger things.
When satan comes around to tempt us or to harass us in any way, we must be very careful of the words we use in resisting his efforts. We have the authority to “resist the devil” James 4:7 NKJV but only the Lord can rebuke the devil Zechariah 3:1,2 NKJV . If we say to satan that we:rebuke: him, he knows we don’t have that authority, so it doesn’t bother him. Just ask the sons of Sceva Acts19:16 =NKJV . So, how do we resist without rebuking? We do what Paul told us to do in Ephesians 6, we put on the whole armor of God and we take up the only weapon that can defeat satan “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”. That is what Jesus did when He was tempted by satan in the wilderness. Is there a better example to follow than Jesus our Savior and Lord? We know there isn’t.
Have you ever been reading the Bible or praying or just spending some down time with Jesus and suddenly a song of joy and praise comes to your mind and without a thought, you just burst into song? The purpose of the Scriptures, after salvation, is to teach us about the great mercy, love and care that God has for us. I believe there are certain Scriptures that the Holy Spirit included for the sole purpose of bringing us great moments of joy. Joy that overflows our hearts and bursts forth into praises for what God has done for us. The next time satan has us on the run and we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders instead of having a pity party, let’s commit to finding some of these verses and let them come alive in our hearts and minds. In fact, why don’t we memorize a few of them just so we can quote them to the old liar. That’s what Jesus did. God does not want us to be miserable one second of our lives. He has given us freedom to choose to be joyous but we have to reach out and access the joy and peace that He offers. For me, nothing can dispel darkness, gloom and doom as quickly and effectively as a few good verses and a couple of praise songs. Put some in your memory arsenal and fire away.