Matthew 4:11-12, “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee”
Nothing is written in the Bible by accident. Not one word is “filler.” Every verse has lessons to teach us. Matthew Chapters 3 and 4 tell of the baptism of Christ. This was a happy day in his life. His cousin, and greatest ally, John the Baptist, had the honor of assisting Christ on this important day. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. God the Father spoke his approval of His Son. The entire (Heavenly) family was there on this momentous occasion. Jesus was being sent out, after 30 long years of preparation, into His Earthly ministry. The time had finally come!
But the party would have to wait. There was work to do. Immediately the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by Satan. Wow! Talk about on-the-job training! He would have to withstand the attacks of the Devil in the grueling heat of the wilderness while having no food for 40 days. Intense. Satan threw everything he had at Christ, but to no avail. Our Saviour stood, unbending, perfect, strengthened by the angels, and ready to gather his disciples and fulfill His purpose.
That’s when He heard the news. It was not coincidence. Matthew 4:12 was placed in the Bible to show us how Satan fights. He fights dirty. He’ll do anything he can to keep us from fulfilling God’s will in our lives.
Jesus had withstood every attack that the devil could think of. So, what was the devil’s final “low blow”? He hurt the person Jesus loved. His family. His friend. His forerunner. The one person on Earth who truly understood Christ’s purpose and mission–John the Baptist. Chances are that the two cousins never saw each other again.
Friend, can you relate? Possibly you feel that you have endured a long, difficult period of testing in your life. You have been through the valley, faced the evil day, and you came through it! You stood strong; you endured like a good soldier. You are ready to step into the will of God for your life.
And that’s when it happens. It comes out of nowhere, and sucker punches you—something happens to a loved one, a friend, a dear relative, a mentor. Ouch! You didn’t see it coming. You could handle it when Satan was attacking you, but did he have to go for your family member?
There is probably someone reading this article who has or is going through this. Just when you thought your trial was over, and you had the victory, that mean ol’ devil decided to go after those you love. Not fair!
I agree, it is NOT FAIR! But I can encourage you by saying two things:
- God has BIG plans for your future, or the devil would not be fighting you so hard.
- It’s getting close. If you can keep this trial from making you quit, or getting bitter, or side-tracked, you are about to do something eternal, influencing many, bringing great victory for the cause of Christ.
That is the example shown in the Bible. At this point, Christ began the 3 most life-changing years in human history, ending in His Resurrection and Ascension. Satan could not keep Him from doing God’s Will.
The best is yet to come, Friend! Don’t give up. Just when it doesn’t seem that you can survive one more trial, one more sorrow, heartache, disappointment, bad news…. That’s when victory comes.
God must refine you in the fire of trials and suffering to use you to your greatest possible potential. Keep trusting Him. The Lord is there with you, ready to give you the grace and strength you need to face this test. You can do ALL things through Christ.
II Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”