By Liliana Ballge, financial aid assistant director at Goshen College
Reprinted from Lenten Devotions
DEVOTIONAL: The life of a Christian isn’t without test or trials, rather our assurance is in knowing that God is in control. However, as Christ himself exemplified in Luke 4:1-13, we too must equip ourselves with God’s Word as a weapon against the devil himself or as a tool for facing any test or trial. I have found this to be true in my own life.
Like Jesus, God’s Word has been the sustaining power while dealing with the illness and death of my mother-in-law. Three years ago, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment and was healed. However, a couple months later, she again became sick and this time the cancer was more severe. During the same week that we were preparing to celebrate my husband’s graduation, we were also at the hospice house watching my mother-in-law lose her life at the young age of 55. To this day, tears fill my eyes and my heart feels the pain of losing her, but I am comforted by God’s Word that Jesus Christ is my comfort and strength, her Healer and our Savior.
While we mourned for her loss, we rejoiced that she is no longer in pain and is resting in peace. God showed us his salvation by coming to this earth in the form of a human named Jesus and overcoming death. I thank God that because of his resurrection power, we have a new heaven to look forward to. A place described in Revelations 21:4 where “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:1-13 (NRSV)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’ Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’ Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.