Date: August 25, 2020
God continues to show us He is always in our midst, at the very center of our concerns. Never have there been so many people praying over the condition of our country, including our schools. I am choosing to cling to hope these days, much like you. There are stories out there that bring promise, goodness and hope that righteousness is winning! Hope is something that can never be taken from us, and it is our choice to wrap ourselves in it daily.
The favor the Lord has bestowed upon Rebecca this week through her Republican National Convention speech is obviously part of God’s beautiful plan, which we hope to have eyes to see daily! The platform He has given her will be used to inform, educate and expose the radical agendas of the teachers’ unions. This is a huge miracle! Just a few years ago, the majority of the country had no knowledge of this problem. Yet to my amazement it has lately become a very hot topic, whether it’s being spoken of on the news, social media, or simply hearing parents talking about it. It is now such an electric issue that it is being addressed at the convention during one of the most pivotal election cycles in our nation’s history. And not to mention the Lord used our courageous Rebecca to expose and deliver this message!
Turning to scripture, this passage really helps me gain perspective, and to recognize why my hope seems to be under attack daily. Unless we live under a rock, it’s difficult to block out all the cynicism that gets thrown at us, especially as believers. How did Jesus handle it?
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.
Vs. 9-14a continues:
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you carefully, they will lift you up in their hands, so you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him for an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you notice what Satan is doing and how he does it? Satan’s phrase “If you are the Son of God” is carefully worded to cause doubt. He obviously knows who Jesus is, but his intent is to try to remove all hope and create questions even in the mind of the Son of God! So in other words one may assume, but in essence is it reality? One can see how that could create a cloud of doubt. Are we to be certain of God’s promises and plan for our lives? If left up to Satan, we are not!
My favorite portion of this passage is the response Jesus gives the devil. Note that Jesus is quoting scripture from the book of Deuteronomy when he says, “Do not test the Lord your
God.” When Jesus quotes directly from the Bible, it says Satan then was finished and left Him. What a testimony to us of the power of God’s word, and using it as our weapon against Satan and his tactics! We often underestimate the power of using the word of God! But isn’t this an incredible illustration of the power available to us? When we study the life of our Savior, it is essentially a road map for how we are to handle this life. If Jesus can rebuke Satan with the word of God, so can we!
Once Jesus rebuked Satan, scripture says He returned in the power of the Holy Spirit. What does living “in the power of the Holy Spirit” really mean? Charles Stanley puts it this way: “It means freedom, exhilaration, fulfillment, and if we are immersed in it, great possibilities are available!” Wow, I really need to hear that!
When life gets us down, when circumstances look grim, when Satan comes along side us whispering thoughts such as, “If your God exists, why is there so much evil in the world?” or “If your God hears your prayers, why isn’t He answering?” or “If your God is so mighty, why isn’t He rescuing you?” we can feel discouraged. Sometimes Satan even uses people to utter these words to us! After reading the passage in the Gospel of Luke of Jesus and Satan’s encounter, we can easily recognize where our doubt comes from, and we’ve been given the perfect way to rebuke it: Gods infallible word, which spoken into the atmosphere is a weapon of warfare we must use daily, and definitely never live life without. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. So let us live in that sweet spot, where great possibilities await us and hope endures.
2 Cor. 3:17
Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Peter 2:9
If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
And hope does not put to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The Holy Spirit within us regenerates us so that we may see and understand the sweet things of God. The world may be screaming unrest, yet we can boldly walk restfully, anchored and secured by the One who lives within us: the One who truly loves us, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
Delighting in safe pasture,