What is your view of the sovereignty of God? I thought that I believed that God was sovereign in everything, until I faced a challenge recently. I lost my passport. Now, you may be thinking, that’s not that big of a deal, why did it challenge your view of God’s sovereignty? Well, I prayed and prayed that God would help us find it. But, it just didn’t show up. For almost a month we prayed and searched. I really began to question God. If we couldn’t find my passport, it would significantly delay our ability to return to the mission field and carry out what God wanted us to do. I just couldn’t understand why God would do that.
This whole situation really showed me that I didn’t really believe that God had my best interest in mind, and that He was ultimately in control.
How about you?
The Passage: Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13
- How soon after His baptism does Jesus face His temptation?
- How does Jesus end up in the wilderness?
- Compare 1 John 2:16 with Jesus 3 temptations. How do Jesus’ temptations relate to that verse?
- Take a minute to meditate on Hebrews 5:8 and how that relates to Jesus temptation.
- How does Jesus respond to each one?
- How does this fulfill Heb 4:15?
- How does this impact your view of God’s sovereignty when it comes to difficulties in your life?
After those beautiful words that God Himself spoke of His Son, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased,“ (Mark 1:11) Mark tells us, “immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12) That’s not exactly how I would show my son that I approve of Him. So, why did God do it?
Hebrews 5:8 tells us, “Although He was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Jesus was God, so what does the writer of Hebrews mean when he says, “He learned obedience?” I like what Wiersbe said about this.
He did not need to learn how to obey because it would be impossible for God to be disobedient. Rather, as the God-Man in human flesh, He had to learn what was involved in obedience. In this way, He identified with us.
Jesus experienced the temptation of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) Another temptation that Fruchenbaum brings out is the temptation for Jesus to take the easy way to the cross.
Jesus life on earth was fulfilling prophecy. Those prophesies meant hardship, persecution, and ultimately death in excruciating pain. And Jesus knew it. What Satan offered was to make God just take care of everything so he wouldn’t have to go through the pain. I think we can relate to that!
We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us. He was tempted in every way, just like we are. OK, yes, He didn’t sin. But, he did experience all the challenges that we face. He DOES UNDERSTAND! And He modeled to us how to overcome! Jesus lived, and breathed the truth of God’s Word!
This lays the foundation for Jesus to be our example for Christian living. As we continue through the life of Christ, God is going to show us an example of what living in dependence on God looks like. This was God’s Word in the flesh. Living as God intended.
Fruchenbaum also said of Jesus temptation that, “God allowing the temptation proved Jesus’s messiah-ship by Jesus displaying what God is like.
After a month of praying and searching for my passport, I seriously began to doubt that God was even listening to my prayers. Here’s all the things we asked God for:
- I thought I had lost it in transit. So, we had prayed the airline would find it in the seat.
- We prayed that TSA would find it at security.
- We prayed the airline would find it at the gate.
- Then we prayed that some kind soul would find it and mail it to us. God didn’t do any of those things.
- After a month we resigned ourselves to the fact I would need to apply for a new passport. But, when we went to apply for a new passport, we learned that the PNG offices were closing the opportunity for new applications in less than 2 weeks! Now we had another problem. So, we prayed, begged God, to do some miracle to open doors for us to expedite a passport. We even tried contacting our governor for help. But, nothing!
The reason we hadn’t tried to apply for a new passport earlier is because Robin contracted COVID and I was in quarantine for those 4 weeks. I was frustrated at God for that too. I began to doubt that God had my best interest in mind.
And then after praying one morning, my wife suggested one more search through all the luggage we had taken on our last trip, and low and behold, we found it.
It wasn’t that God wasn’t answering our prayers, He did have our best interest in mind. He did still want us to get back to PNG to carry on with His work. But, He knew I needed to learn to trust Him more.
God does not tempt us to sin, but he may place us where temptations come. He does so, believing that, through His strength, we will be able to stand.
God’s Word has the answers to our temptations. God’s desire is for us to come to know Him more, and to Know His Word. John 8:31-32 is so true, “Abide in my word… The truth will set you free.
That’s my prayer for you today.