9 June 2023
Trials and temptations
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4: 1
The usual wording of the Lord’s prayer for us recommends that we ask our heavenly Father that we be not led into temptation, while a contemporary version asks that we be saved ‘from the time of trial’. The temptations that Jesus experienced were certainly those such as come in every way to ordinary men and women – the use of power, attracting others by our performance or knowledge, or by doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Satan will use any opportunity to assail us whenever we are off-guard, that is, when we are not clad with the whole armour of God. (Ephesians 6: 10–18) Also, as we see in this incident in Jesus’ life, the devil will attack even if we are fully prepared.
The period before Easter (Lent) is used by many Christians to examine themselves before God, seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit to reveal those things in their lives which keep us from getting close to him, whose temple our bodies are. Our heavenly Father may indeed use times of trial and hardships to
test us. But ‘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 stand up under it.’ (1 Corinthians 10: 13). Lent is an opportunity to spend more time in contemplation of God’s word and determining his will for us.
Nevertheless, let us not forget that even though we may have ‘overcome’ any particular temptation, the tempter will try again to undermine our objective, as he did with Jesus. It is surely comforting that it is likely that ‘angels will come and minister’ to us, as they did to Jesus, after any such struggle.

Read: Luke 4: 1–12; Hebrews 4: 14–16.