in All things
To many people, the idea that God allows His children to be tempted or tested
by the devil is inconsistent with His omnipotence. "If God is
Almighty," they reason, "then He should intervene in Satan's
attempts to seduce us and should prevent Satan damaging our personalities."
But it is because God is omnipotent that He permits us to be tempted.
P. Harlon says: "A conquering nation that is not sure of its
own strength, refuses the people any kind of independence at all,
and keeps control with a strong hand, is governed not by a love for
the people but by a fear of the people."
God does not control the lives of His people by fear but by love,
justice and the desire always to do what is right. Sometimes He will
not deliver us from temptation, but He will deliver us in it. Whenever
we are under attack, it is one of Satan's strategies to persuade us
that because God does not deliver us from temptation, He is not able
to help us. God is well able to help us and the help He gives is to
supply us with the grace to overcome it.
Here's what an expert who went through so many trials and temptations
has to say, "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 cam stand up under it." (1 Cor. 10:13).
God clearly allows temptation as part of His purposes for our spiritual
development, so why fear it? Trouble, distress, affliction, pain,
and suffering drive those with genuine faith to a greater dependance
on the Lord. That increase their knowledge of Him, which in turn increases
their ability to trust Him. Therefore, the psalmist could confidently
declare, "before I was afflicted I went astray, but now O keep
Your word...It is good for me that I was afflicted , that I may learn
Your statutes...I know, O Lord, that Your judgements are righteous,
and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me" (Psalm 119:67,
From these foregoing reasons, suffering is part of God's wise, loving,
perfect, sovereign plan for His children, they "suffer according
to the will of God" (1 Peter 4:19).
Humility will not permit us to desire temptation - that would be
to presume on our own strength - but zeal for our advancement should
result in our not dreading it and not being unhappy when it comes.
Holiness would not be as awesome to our carnal natures if it could
be acquired without a struggle.
"These have come so that your
faith ... may be proved genuine ..." (1 Peter 1:1-9).
My Father and my God, thank You for unveiling to me the treasures
that are hidden in the darkness of temptation. Help me in future to
face all temptations in the sure knowledge that You are in control.
In ]esus' Name. Amen.
<< Letter # 27 (20. 7.2003)