Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him (Matthew 4:10).
For 25 years, Irmela Mensah-Schramm has walked
the streets of Berlin, Germany, cleaning away the
racist propaganda of neo-Nazi groups. Since 1986,
Irmela has painted over graffiti and scratched away
stickers (36,000 in the past 4 years). She believes she
can overcome neo-Nazi ideology one street at a time.
When God placed Adam and Eve in Eden, all was
theirs to enjoy, “except the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). They couldn’t handle that
knowledge, and eating its fruit would lead to death. The
serpent arrived with the cunning suggestion that God
was not to be trusted, however, and Eve listened. She
was tempted in three distinct ways—temptations we all
know: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
Sadly, Eve yielded, and humans have yielded ever
since. There is One, however, who did not yield. Just
before Jesus began His public ministry, He was in the
wilderness fasting for 40 days. And, again, the Tempter
arrived. He used the same tactics, suggesting that Jesus
take matters into His own hands. Satan suggested to
• “Tell these stones to become loaves of bread”
• Toss Yourself from the pinnacle of the temple (forcing
God’s hand to rescue Him before the right time, v.6).
• Take over Jerusalem and imagine ruling over all the kingdoms of the
Jesus was tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life. But He didn’t yield. Jesus overcame the temptation that has ruined
us—what we could never conquer. In every way, He does for us what we could
never do on our own.
Review the two read passages in Genesis 3:1. Mark
the similarities and the differences between these two temptation stories.
Where are you facing the fiercest temptation right now: lust of the flesh, lust
of the eyes, or the pride of life? How does the fact that Jesus has already
overcome the tempter help you to deal with your temptation?
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