Have you ever asked yourself if you really believe the Bible? Have you ever doubted your faith in God? Have you ever wondered if your salvation was real? If you have then you are definitely not alone.
Every Christian has faced doubt at some point in their faith journey. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. It is the nature of sin that rebels against God. It is Satan who tempts us with doubt more than anything else. So how do we continue our faith walk and overcome these doubts and get the answers to these and many more questions?
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness shortly after he was baptized by John at the Jordan River Jesus had to deal with the very same temptations we deal with every day. The difference between us dealing with temptation and Jesus dealing with temptation is the ability to overcome the temptation.
Although Jesus is the Son of God and has all the power to destroy evil he did not use it to overcome the temptations he was faced with. Instead he set an example of how we can fight against temptation. He did it by simply standing on the Word of God.
Let’s take a look at that time. Before he was tempted Jesus fasted. This is something that most Christians do not do. And I will step out on a limb and say no body fasts for 40 days and nights.
Jesus fasted for forty days the Word of God tells us. What this means is he went without eating or allowing anything to enter his body except for water. With this fasting he prayed. This is very important to understand. Because after going without eating for that amount of time the mind gets a bit out of sorts. You could begin to hallucinate and doubt your own thoughts.
At this point Jesus was wandering the wilderness and he looked at some stones. Now the Word tells us Satan tempted him saying, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Actually it starts off saying, “The tempter came to him.”
We know Jesus was tempted the same way you and I are tempted because Paul tells us he did.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)
So if we look at this temptation as if we were being tempted it might look more like this:
Jesus was extremely hungry. He saw stones that might have looked to him like loaves of bread. And he thought to himself, “I am the Son of God. He has granted me powers. I could change one of these stones into a loaf of bread and eat.”
Of course, we know he didn’t give in. But as I said before, it was not by power that he resisted the temptation but by the Word of God which he stood fast to. He focused his thoughts at the tempter and quoted Scripture. He knew he was there for a reason. He knew he had to be sinless. He had committed himself to fulfilling the purpose he was hear for. He was out in that wilderness to pray and to meditate. He was to live his life everyday completely in tune with the will of the Father.
So he quoted, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
He did the same for the next two temptations which you can read in Matthew chapter 4.
This is how we should live as well. We need to believe God and trust him in every aspect of our lives. But how do we do this? Do we just quote Scripture every time we are confronted with temptation?
Before we can live by faith we must believe the Word of God. We must know beyond doubt that we have salvation through Jesus Christ.
Since it is the Word of God that is true, and Jesus himself relied on it to get him over the temptation, we need to learn Scripture and have it ready at all times.
We can start by looking at 1 John 5:11-12.
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11-12 ESV)
Ultimately it is God who gives us eternal life. Note that this life is give through God’s Son. It has been given to Jesus the power to give eternal life to whomever he wishes. God’s Word tells us how we get this eternal life. It says, “Whoever has the Son has life.” If you have Jesus you have life. Likewise, if you do not have Jesus you do not have life.
God has drawn a line in the sands of life. Those who will live forever have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who have not accepted him will die. It is that simple. It is a matter of taking the step of faith to believe Jesus is the Son of God.
It comes down to having faith. Once you take that initial step your faith begins to grow in you. The more you learn about God and his will the stronger your faith becomes. If you believe the words of Jesus then you will have life. He has already promised this.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24 ESV)
This is not about just saying the words, “I believe”. It is about believing. Even those who have believed all their lives have doubt from time to time but that is because the devil still roams this world. It is a spiritual battle. As long as we stand fast in the promises of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ then we are facing the right direction.
I remember a lady I knew a long time ago at a church I was attending. She told me one day, “If you are walking down the road and you trip and fall, then stand back up, which direction are you facing?”
I loved hew wisdom. This is the walk of a Christian. We walk and we stumble. But when we rise back to our feet we are still facing the kingdom of God.
Don’t worry about the temptations, have faith that God loves you and will help you get through it. Learn what God has to say about dealing with temptation by reading his word regularly. Believe what Jesus tells you and know that you are saved.