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Jesus Christ, the only perfect man to ever live, endured more trials and temptations than we can ever imagine. In Luke 4:1-13 Christ’s temptation by Satan is described.
God allowed His Son to go through intense trials to set an example for us and show us how we should react when we encounter hard times and trials that really test our faith. There are five basic tools God has given us to cope with difficult situations: prayer, Bible study, fasting, meditation and fellowship.
When we pray to God we are building a relationship with Him. God wants us to ask Him for the things we need in life: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).
We may be going through a certain trial because God wants us to learn something or we need to make a change in our lives. Studying God’s Word and making sure we are putting it into practice in our daily lives is important. We shouldn’t just seek God when things are not going right or we need something.
Some trials may require we seek God’s help through fasting. Consider the time when Christ’s disciples were unable to cast out a demon: “… a man came to Him… saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely …I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.’ Then Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation…How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.’ And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him…Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting’” (Matthew 17:14-21).
The attitude necessary for effective fasting is explained by God in Isaiah 58:3-12. If our focus is on others instead of ourselves, “then you shall call, and the LORD will answer” (verse 9).
During a trial we can become so stressed we forget to stop and properly assess the situation. By meditating on God’s Word and applying it to our situation, we may find the answer is right in front of our nose.
Iron sharpens iron, so consulting other god-fearing friends about an issue may provide the necessary insight. Hebrews 10:24-25 emphasizes the necessity of spending time with God’s people. They may have advice for you, and can pray and even fast for you.
Virtual Christian Magazine (Oct-Nov 2009)