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A Purpose 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, 71,75).

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).

Prayer

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.

Be Encouraged

<< Letter # 27 (20. 7.2003)

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