Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him “All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8, 9 (New American Standard Bible)
I love to take shortcuts. I’ll look for highways and roads that will cut time from my driving, shortcuts when I do projects, and yes ladies, I do occasionally take shortcuts when I help with house work. Not always, but I do tend to look for ways to get around the agony of dish pan hands.
Satan asked Jesus to take a shortcut from His Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption. Satan tried the same maneuvering he used with Adam and Eve, misrepresenting the word of God. He inferred that God’s plan was a waste of time and pretty much useless. In the temptations of Christ he twisted Scripture appealing to physical appetites and pride. When that didn’t work he offered a way to circumvent the cross by offering Jesus instant power and glory. Thankfully Jesus didn’t fall to the temptation and chose the cross, a more difficult but perfect way.
The hard way initially bums me out. Sometimes I’d rather take a beating than push through some difficult circumstance. I will look for ways around it, look for another course and rationalize many reasons for taking it just to avoid the hard way. But you know every time I come out on the other side of a tough trial I find I am stronger and revel in the blessings of Christ. Going through hard times with God’s help isn’t pleasant yet it’s like pumping spiritual iron. I am strengthened in my faith and find my trust in God is greatly increased at the end. God in His wisdom knows the sinews of growth I will receive in my spirit by persevering through a hard situation. Jesus knew it too and praise be to God He didn’t choose a shortcut thereby giving me a way to relationship with God the Father, Himself and the Holy Spirit. The hard way is usually something that is not all that pleasant but it is still something to be embraced with faith. Jesus was well aware of it when He stepped out of that tomb on the third day and I and all believers are better for it. Praise His Holy Name.
Jesus, help me to trust in You through the hard times and difficult places, knowing that I will, as you did, come out fully in our Heavenly Father’s will.