Thursday, January 7, 2016

Led into Difficulty

Raymund's Note: This sermon by Dr. Paul Chappell is re-posted from www.dailyintheword.org.


Photo source: www.christiantoday.com
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” - Luke 4:1–2
There is a widespread idea today that if we are doing what we should, everything will work out wonderfully—we won’t get sick, we won’t have money trouble, and our families will enjoy peace and harmony. Yet the Bible paints a different picture. While there are blessings for obedience, the Christian life is far from being simple and painless. There are times when doing exactly what we should do leads us to difficulty and hardship. Jesus was not out of place when the devil came to tempt Him. He was exactly where the Holy Spirit had led Him.
The temptation of Jesus happened at a time when He was physically weak and alone. There were no disciples to encourage Him; there was no human support at all. Yet in that moment, Jesus still had full confidence in His Father. The presence of the Holy Spirit gave Him all of the help and spiritual strength that He needed to deal with what was coming.
We are never alone, even if we are separated from all our family and friends. The Holy Spirit is still there when things get tough. And in those moments, our faith is more important than ever. The devil knows this, and he attempts to get us to question God’s goodness. One of his main tactics against us is to bring suffering in hopes that the pain and trouble will make us turn against God. “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life” (Job 2:4). When we live with an awareness of the Holy Spirit, we realize that we are never alone.
Today’s Growth Principle: 
The presence of trouble should drive us to trust God more, rather than causing us to doubt His love and care for us.
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