Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. (Matthew 4:1, 2 NLT)
Often this scripture can cause confusion because in James 1:13 it says God cannot tempt you. But if we look closely at this scripture it says The Holy Spirit led Him to the dessert, He did not tempt Jesus but instead led Him to a place of suffering where the devil was going to be there to tempt Him.
The fact is God will not hesitate to lead us into the wilderness if that is what is necessary at the time.
Sometimes when we are going through trials, temptation seems to be lurking around every corner. Going about our everyday business becomes clouded with our thoughts focusing on the desires of our heart rather than what The Holy Spirit is leading us to.
To many times for the past 6 months my heart has been distracted with my temptations. In the midst of these thoughts I have been struggling to pray for God to remove my temptation. In fact that's what I do whenever something seems a bit difficult, I often ask God to just remove it from life.
Remove the suffering, the illness, the pain, the temptation.
I think we often think of God as the One who will remove all of our burdens and suffering. Maybe we think being made Holy means we are to never struggle with temptation again. Or maybe we see it as a time in our life where we will never have to suffer, forgive, and love beyond all desire or reasoning.
But the truth is, temptation will never go away. And if we are going through trials we can almost guarantee that the enemy is going to use that time in our life to tempt us even more.
Suffering will not go away. Really can we explain why certain people go through certain trials and others don't? Some things simply cannot be explained. Suffering sometimes can't be prayed away, or even fasted away. Yes, I still believe in God the healer, the great Physician, but that doesn't explain the suffering of losing a child or someone you love in an accident or random act of violence. When it comes down to it, we need to not only have faith that God can remove our suffering if He so chooses, but we also need to have faith that God is bigger than whatever trial we are going through. Our faith in Him needs to be built on the foundation of His sovereignty in our life and in this world, not on what He can do for us.
Sometimes we need to walk through the pain and the injustice of this world. We need to learn how to turn the other cheek, and love those that are the most difficult to love. We need to let go of our anger and embrace the peace that surpasses all understanding. It's difficult, it really is. But the last thing we are called to do when life gets difficult is to run away…in fact we are called to stay.
The truth is if we are to live in God's glory then we need to also walk in our suffering…
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. (Romans 8:17 NLT)