REFLECT – Day 28:
In a busy world when work life balance is almost non existent. Success is often marked by exhaustion and promotion is earned by quantity of hours not quality of work. We can all fall into the trap of believing that this is the way life has to be and fall prey to the cultural norms which entangle us in exhaustion, depression and anxiety.
We can often find ourselves feeling tested and feeling weak.
Today we turn to Luke 4:1-13 and search to learn from Jesus own experience of testing.
Jesus’ heart, too, was tested and tried at the beginning of his ministry. He spends 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism – partly seeking strength and partly being tested by the devil.
Three times, the devil comes to Jesus. The first temptation is to use his power to serve himself. The second is to exchange earthly glory for truth. The third is to put God’s purposes to the test. Jesus’ final testing, which will come into focus several times during his ministry, is to turn aside from the way of the cross (Matthew 16:23, Luke 22: 42)
The fact that Jesus endures this testing of the heart should encourage us.
Why? Because in this way God has made himself incredibly relatable to us and is able to engage not only in our high points of celebration but also, and probably more importantly, in our times of desperation and pain.
The Letter to the Hebrews says this: ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weakness, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15).
While we have to couple this understanding of God with humility, He is still of course the King of all the universe.
We also can come to him with boldness as Hebrews goes onto say: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
So, are you being tested and tried? Come to God.
Use this line of the Lord’s prayer today with the Bible passage in your mind:
‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.’
Spend time praying for those you will meet today. How might you offer encouragement and strength to those who are being tested?