We live in a world where temptations, trials, and challenges are perceived as punishments for the wicked due to the erroneous prosperity teachings of our time. They even let people question the very existence and the omnipotence of God when they face challenges. The famous question is always asked, “why must the just suffer?”
Conversely, temptations or challenges are not punishment for the wicked but are rather trials to our victory. Temptations are Christian friendly. They help you to prove your worth as a Christian. When the tempter [Satan] tempted Jesus in the wilderness according to Luke 4:2, the Greek verb, “πειραζω” was used for temptation. And πειραζωs [peirazo] can be translated as “assay”, which means “to test something for quality, often how pure they are”. Temptations are to the Christian as fire is to gold.
The desert was never an enemy to the Israelites, rather, a road to Canaan, their promise land. Sometimes, the desert might pose a situation that you would even prefer to have been in Egypt, your land of slavery, than journeying to Canaan, your land of freedom [Ex. 16:3] but rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation for victory awaits you [Rom. 12:12].
Our Christian journey and our life as a whole, is like a student. A student is normally promoted to the next class when he emerges victorious in his examination. In this case, examination is not an enemy to the student, nor is it meant to hinder his progress but to test his capabilities for the next class. David would not have received songs of praise from the Israelites if he had not fought and killed Goliath. In the cross lies your glory so face the cross. Pass through the desert and the land of Canaan will be given to you.
Jesus, the Word made flesh, was God but he received “a name above every other name that at the mention of his name every knee must bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord to the glory of the Father” [phil. 2:9-11] after he humbled himself, carried his cross, and died a shameful death. There is no liver without a bile. Do not throw away the “bile” in your life for it is that which will help your “body” to deal with “fats”.
Trials are mostly not pleasant but without it we cannot have a genuine promotion to the next level of life. We are drawn more closely to God when we pass the test of our faith. The higher we go, the difficult our test of life, and the more we have to endure.
What then must we do when we are faced with challenges, temptations, and trials? When you are faced with a challenging situation, there are two things; you either allow the situation to define you or you define the situation. Do not allow your challenging situation dictate to you what your life should be, rather, define the situation to change your life for the better. To be able to define your challenges to suit your life, you first have to be indefatigable, and then, focus on Jesus Christ.
First and foremost, there is an adage that “a determined mind is never distracted”. The raging waters should not deter you from your vision of sailing. Be indefatigable. Hector Crawford once said, “decide carefully, exactly what you want in life, then work like mad to make sure you get it!” never let the trials of your goals deter you from attaining your goals. Face the trials with an optimistic view and you will surely attain your goals. Your greatest success might come from your greatest failures.
Again, always focus on Jesus in times of trials than focusing on the trials. Directing your attention to the greatness of the of the problem will only invoke fear and “I can’t do it” in you just as the spies invoked fear in the Israelites when they shifted their attention from the omnipotence of God to the fortification of the city and strength of the Anaks. They even seemed to themselves like grasshoppers, and thought that is how they seemed to the Anaks [Num. 13:28-33]. We always look down on our strength and the power of God when we focus our attention on the problem. We mostly fail in times of temptations because, we usually zoom and magnify the problem and dwarf the power of God and our own strength and capabilities. Peter almost sank when he shifted his attention from Jesus to the raging waters [Matt 14:30]. When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, do not let your anchor drift but fasten it to the rock which does not move. With Jesus as your focus, you will be able to overcome every trial of your victory. You can smile at every storm.
Though our world pose a pessimistic view of temptations or trials, yet, have an optimistic view of every temptation or trial you are going through. They are friendly to us. Trials are the springboards to our success and victory. Embrace the cross that comes your way for in it lies your glory.
Source: Derick Adjei