Saturday, March 14, 2015

Trials and Hardships

We learned from the previous post that Jesus was different in character than the other youth of His age.  He did not obey the rigid rules of the synagogue teachers and the priests and they were constantly after His mother to make Him listen to their teachings and follow their ways, but His answer always was, "It is written".  The forms of religion which they observed could not transform the character.  They paid "tithe of mint and anise and cumin, but omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith."  Matthew 23:23.  The example of Jesus was to them a continual irritation.  He hated but one thing and that was sin.  He could not witness a wrong act without pain which it was impossible to disguise.  Between the formalists whose sanctity of appearance concealed the love of sin and a character in which zeal for God's glory was always paramount, the contrast was unmistakable.  Because the life of Jesus condemned evil, He was opposed, both at hime and abroad.  His unselfishness and integrity were commented on with a sneer.  His forbearance and kindness was termed cowardice.

But for every temptation He had an answer, "It is written".  He rarely rebuked any wrongdoing of His brothers, but He had a word from God to speak to them.  Often He was accused of cowardice for refusing to unite with them in some forbidden act; but His answer was, "It is written, "The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."  Job 28:28

There were some who sought His society, feeling at peace in His presence; but many avoided Him, because they were rebuked by His stainless life.  Young companions urged Him to do as they did.  He was bright and cheerful; they enjoyed His presence, and welcomed His ready suggestions; but they were impatient at His scruples, and pronounced Him narrow and strait-laced.  Jesus answered, It is written, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?  by taking heed thereto according to Thy word."  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."  Ps 119:9,11.

When questioned why He did not join in the frolics of the youth of Nazareth, He said, It is written, "I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.  I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways.  I will delight myself in Thy statutes:  I will not forget Thy word." Psalm 119:14-16.

(Here we see how to overcome temptation by facing the tempter with the word of God.  That's why it is so important to study the Word and to know it in our hearts so that we can rebuke Satan with God's word and we will have the victory over each temptation that comes to us if we will do that.  That's how Jesus lived a pure stainless life.  It was through the power of God's word and trusting in that Word to give Him the victory.  We can have the same power today, but the fact is that most people are like the pharisees and the teachers of the law in Christ's time and they would rather believe in the traditions of man then in the word of God.  Which would you rather believe in,  I choose the word of God, because that is where the power is for living a pure life.  There is no power in traditions and never was.  Will you join me in believing in the Word of God, rather then in traditions of men.  It's pretty simple to see where the power lies, isn't it?  Grandma Joan.  Thoughts were taken from the Desire of Ages chapter 9.)

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