A common question that I am asked is, “If there is a God, why does so many bad things happen in the world? Why are there earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters that kill so many people? Why is there cancer?” Well, I wish I had the answer. However, here is what I do know…God does not reign here on earth. The devil lives here and is at work all day and all night long. Every single minute of our lives, Satan is working, tempting us to turn away from God. It’s a tension that is in this world – a tension of evil and good – polar opposites.
In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus has just been baptized by the Holy Spirit and was led by the Sprit into the wilderness. For forty days and forty nights, Jesus fasted. In other words, he ate nothing! So, by the end of this journey, he was starving! And, who comes along, but Satan himself. The devil waited for Jesus to be so hungry so that he could tempt him to come his way – away from God.
Jesus was God and I believe that Jesus could have done anything he wanted – like turn the stones into bread so that he would have something to eat. However, I think it is important to see what Jesus did to get through his temptation of what the devil offered him. He knew God! He quoted Scripture! In his deepest and most difficult moments of temptation to follow the devil, Jesus relied on God and the Word of God to get him through. And, it worked! Once the devil gave up, the angels came to Jesus to take care of him.
Knowing our Lord will get us through some of the most difficult of situations. There will be times when we must choose evil or the good; the easy way out or the more difficult; or do we choose Satan or the Lord. Jesus shows us if we know the Word of God, we can persevere.
Let us pray, Gracious God, there is heaven on earth, but there is also evil that often prevails. Help us to draw near to you and remember your Word when we need it the most to fight the temptations we face. We love you so much. Amen.