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Humble Hero

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    The Temptation to Doubt

    The words from heaven, “This is My beloved Son,” were still sounding in the ears of Satan. But he was determined to make Christ disbelieve this testimony. The Word of God was Christ’s assurance of His divine mission; the Word declared His connection with heaven. Satan intended to make Him doubt that Word. If he could shake Christ’s confidence in God, Satan knew that he could overcome Jesus. He hoped that under the force of despair and hunger, Christ would lose faith in His Father and work a miracle in His own behalf. If He had done this, the plan of salvation would have been broken.HH 47.1

    Satan made the most of his supposed advantage. One of the most powerful of the angels, he said, had been banished from heaven. The appearance of Jesus indicated that He was that fallen angel, forsaken by God and deserted by everyone. A divine being would establish his claim by working a miracle: “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Such an act of creative power, the tempter urged, would be conclusive evidence of Divinity. It would bring the controversy to an end.HH 47.2

    But the Son of God was not to prove His divinity to Satan. If Christ had followed the suggestion of the enemy, Satan would still have said, “Show me a sign that I may believe you to be the Son of God.” And Christ was not to exercise divine power for His own benefit. He had come to bear trials as we must, giving us an example. His wonderful works were all for the good of others. Strengthened with the memory of the Voice from heaven, Jesus rested in His Father’s love.HH 47.3

    Jesus met Satan with Scripture. “It is written,” He said. The weapon of His warfare was the Word of God. Satan demanded a miracle from Christ. But a firm reliance on a “Thus says the Lord” is greater than all miracles. It was a sign that could not be disputed. As long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage.HH 47.4

    In the time of Christ’s greatest weakness, Satan attacked Him with the fiercest temptations. This is how Satan has taken advantage of humanity’s weakness. See Numbers 20:1-13; 1 Kings 19:1-14. When we are perplexed or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan is there to tempt, to attack our weak points of character, to shake our confidence in God. Often the tempter comes as he came to Christ, pointing out our weakness to us. He hopes to discourage us and break our hold on God. But if we would reply to him as Jesus did, we would escape many a defeat.HH 47.5

    Christ said to the tempter, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” In the wilderness more than fourteen hundred years before, God sent His people a constant supply of manna from heaven. This was to teach them that while they trusted in God and walked in His ways, He would not forsake them. By the word of God help had been given to the Hebrews, and by the same word it had been given to Jesus. He awaited God’s time to bring relief. He would not obtain food by following Satan’s suggestions. It is better to endure whatever may happen than to depart in any way from God’s will.HH 47.6

    Often the follower of Christ is brought to the point where it appears that obedience to some plain requirement of God will cut off his means of support. Satan would make him believe that he must sacrifice his honest convictions. But the only thing we can rely on is the Word of God. See Matthew 6:33. When we learn the power of His Word, we will not follow Satan’s suggestions in order to get food or save our lives. We will obey God’s command and trust His promise.HH 48.1

    In the last great conflict with Satan, those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. See Revelation 13:11-17. But God has promised the obedient one, “He will dwell on high; ... bread will be given him, His water will be sure.” Isaiah 33:16. When the earth will be wasted with famine, he will be fed. See Psalm 37:19.HH 48.2

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