Temptation and Test
GOD’S INTENTIONS OF TRIALS V.S. SATAN'S OF TEMPTATION
The two opposing tensions in the spiritual realm are God’s intention to build us up and Satan’s intention to destroy us:
• When God allowed Satan to consider Job on two occasions, He wanted to refine and to build Job up, but Satan maliciously tried to break down Job’s belief in God.
• God subjected the Israelites to various tests to punish them for their disobedience while they wandered in the wilderness. But He was always ready to take them back if they returned, even though they succumbed to the temptations presented by their surroundings (1 Cor 10:8-13). As a result, many failed and perished in the wilderness.
• When Jesus was tempted, it was the Spirit that allowed such a trial to happen to Him so as to empower Him for His ministry (Lk 4:1, 14), but the intent of Satan was clear: to cause Jesus to sin against God.
• The members at Thessalonica faced great affliction after they came into Christ. Paul left them when they were only three weeks old in faith (Acts 17:2). The apostolic account tells us that envious Jews incited some evil men to set the city in an uproar to stop Paul from preaching (Acts 17:5-9).Their spiritual lives could’ve been damaged had their faith buckled under the intense pressure of the persecution. But they emerged strong in their faith with joy in the Holy Spirit and became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia (1 Thess 1:7).
[to be continued]