“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

From our Lord’s temptation, let it always be remembered that there is no sin in being tempted. Even when our first parents were in their perfect state, they were liable to temptation. Their fault was in yielding, not in being tempted. Our Lord was tempted to what would have been the worst of sins, yet he did not yield. Remember also that temptation does not necessitate sinning. Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Joseph was sorely tempted yet remained pure. A man may walk in the midst of the furnace of temptation, yet not even the smell of the fire shall be upon him. Amid the worst temptations, He is one “who through faith is shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation.” Indeed, temptation may be necessary for you. It evidently was so in the case of our Lord. He was led by the Holy Spirit to face the devil. Temptation may be necessary for us for the purpose of testing and trying us. There are no champions in God’s army who are fair-weather soldiers. They must all endure hardness; their valor must be tried and proven. Like Abraham, we may be severely put to the test yet come to hear the Angel of the Covenant’s marvelous commendation: “Now I know that you fear God.” (Genesis 22:1). Where would our patience be if there was no suffering to test it? Where would the grace of forgiveness be if we never had to suffer injury from others? It is for our growth in grace that the storms of temptation are let loose upon us, that, like a stalwart oak, we may be firmly rooted. By this stern experience Christians grow “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). They break the power of the world, and take a firmer grip on the invisible things of God as they are tried and tempted.

Adapted from “In His Presence”