At once the Spirit sent [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Tempted, Yet Triumphant
No one truly understands the torrent of temptations I face in daily life like Jesus does. Countless times the devil coaxes me with his sweet-sounding, sly lies. And after falling for his diabolical deception, I am met with a cascade of his accusations concerning my own guilt and shame. The devil is a real enemy not to be underestimated. His mission is to undermine my faith in God.
Jesus not only understands the power of the evil one; he overcame him! Alone in the barren desert with wild animals surrounding him, Jesus encountered our arch enemy. For forty days he faced the fierce enticements of the evil one. In every vicious attack, Jesus stood victorious. Christ Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Whenever I am tempted, my help and strength will never be found in the deceptive lies of the prince of darkness. Lasting help is graciously given by the Prince of peace who shines with the light of the gospel’s eternal truth, exposing the devilish lies for what they are. His Word of Truth brings the Savior’s healing and forgiveness for the fallen sinner. His love compels me to repent of my sin and to fix my eyes on Jesus who paid the entire debt of my guilt as he crushed the devil through his victory on the cross and from the grave.
It is not a matter of if temptation will come my way. It is only a matter of when. And when the tide of temptation seeks to overwhelm me, I rest in the safe harbor of heavenly grace. For Jesus assures me with his presence and his powerful promise, that he will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). Finally, when my last hour comes, the Lord will deliver me from all evil and graciously take me from this world to himself in the refuge of heaven.
Dearest Jesus, the reason you appeared on earth was to destroy the devil’s work. When I fall into temptation, move me to sorrow over my sin and befriend me with your abiding love and forgiveness. Your word is my strength against every evil attack. I thank you that you were victorious for me! Amen.