Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Being Real

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13 NKJV)

We all Get Tested
If the Lord Jesus could be led into a waste land for forty days by the Spirit of God and then at His weakest point could be tested by the Devil, then imagine what the Devil can do to believers today.  I know that believers and unbelievers go through some of the same trials, but I am particularly concerned about believers as I meditate on the Lord’s temptation.

Sometimes we get sick, sometimes we are involved in natural disasters, sometimes we have accidents.  Why does the Lord allow that?  Why doesn’t He protect us?  And when we think we have gotten victory over the test, why does God allow Satan to test us again?  It seems like Satan is just waiting for a new opportune time.

All I know is that the Lord was untainted by sin and yet He was tested.  He didn’t get tested as punishment for sin or failure, and I don’t think the tests were allowed by His Father to cause Him to sin (although Satan may not have known that).  I think the tests were allowed to prove that He was the real deal.  You test diamonds to see if they are real, you test gold to see if it is real and the Lord was tested to prove that he was really God manifested in the flesh. (See 1 Timothy 3:16).

Examples of Unjust Suffering
Job was tried without knowing why.  His comforters all seemed to know he had sinned when God said he avoided evil.  But Job didn’t realize he was being tried to prove to Satan that there are those who worship God when times are good, and they worship Him when times are bad.  They don’t worship God because of what God has done for them in a material way, they worship God because He is worthy of their worship no matter what the circumstances are.  Satan thought Job was worshipping God because God had blessed him.  He had to find out that not everyone is as self-centered as he is. 

Joseph suffered both physically and emotionally.  Imagine being raised in a family where your siblings so hated you that they were willing to murder you—at least some of them were.  Rejection is one of the cruelest tests that there is.

The Lord suffered rejection.  The Lord could say, “Reproach hath broken my heart! (Psalm 69:20).”  When He was taken captive in the Garden, all of His disciples (His loyal friends), forsook Him and fled.  Rejection by those who say that they are your friends is one of the cruelest of trials.

Paul said that no man stood with Him when he was tried before Caesar.  Likely they forsook him in order to maintain their own personal safety, but nevertheless, Paul didn’t have anyone to defend or support him. 

Current Times
Some Christians are going to be tried because of this new pandemic.  We are already being asked to socially distance ourselves from others so likely friends are not going to be able to visit and support those of us who get really sick from this virus.  Does that mean that the Lord doesn’t love us? No!  It just means that this world is broken because of sin and we all suffer because of that.  And even if we survive the present pandemic, there may be other things that Satan will use to try to get us to deny the Lord.  We may go bankrupt.  There may be accidents.  The point of my verse that I am meditating on is that Satan never quits looking for some way to get the Christian to doubt God’s love and to act like unbelievers would act.  Job was trusted with a trial he didn’t understand, but many people have been encouraged by his faithfulness down through the years!  He was a testimony to Satan that there are believers who are “real.”   Joseph had been prepared for his trials and realized that all his rejection and suffering was because he was to be a deliverer for his family.  The Lord suffered to deliver us from the penalty that we deserve because of our sin   Paul’s suffering was an example of faithfulness to the Lord that saved him.  He could say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV).”

No matter how bad things get, we need to remember that we may not understand what we are going through and we may not understand why we are going through it, but if we are faithful, God will use the trial to help us mature and to glorify Himself.  When we think we have victory over a trial or temptation, we can be sure that Satan is planning his next attempt to prove that we are not “real.”  However, our trials may just be the thing that convinces someone that heaven is real, that hell is real, that Biblical trust in the Lord provides us an undeserved home in heaven. And someone may be in heaven one day because we were “real.” 

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of March 29, 2020

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