Hope Through Temptation

Girl standing in Ventura with white tank top and hope through temptation

Hope Through Temptation

How do you keep hope alive for the best, when it’s been so long you’re tempted to settle? Have you ever been hungry? Standing in-front of an open fridge again and again? Checking the pantry over and over… Nothing looks good enough. The first few times you leave empty handed. But eventually…The hungrier you get…. the more you’re willing to settle for. We’re continuing our “Can’t Cancel Hope” series today with the Man Himself – Jesus. In the scripture today the devil tests Jesus 3 different ways. Each test is actually an exchange. I want you to look at what the devil is trying to exchange. Because what the devil tries to exchange with Jesus, is what he tries to exchange with us too. It’s Independence weekend. Let’s find freedom through temptations in our life.

Follow along with Pastor Matt here:

Matthew 4:1-11

4 1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” 4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

Jesus is starving. Jesus is hungry.

The devil tries to force Jesus to transform the stone to bread.

1. The first exchange is what we consume, or take into our life.

Because you have not consumed and fed on the Word of God in weeks, months, years…you are willing to settle in your life.

You settle by turning the stone into bread.

The devil tries to get us to exchange what we consume.

  • A stone represents anything that tries to replace or distract you from the Word of God.
  • If you genuinely look at your calendar and your bank statement you will instantly see what stones you are exchanging.

The Bible declares that hope is Jesus. But the Bible also explains that the Word was with God at the beginning of creation, and that Jesus is the Word.

So when we consume the Word, we develop our relationship with Jesus; and when we develop our relationship with Jesus – HOPE grows in our life.

The devil wants to remove hope by preventing your relationship with Jesus.

Location is important – 

Matthew 4:1 describes the Spirit as leading Jesus to the wild or wilderness.

Greek definition is – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited

In your loneliness is where the devil tests you the most. 

Before moving forward in the sermon I want you to grab your phone or device right now and head over to the comments. Whether you are watching live or later… We are going to pause the sermon and do life together. I’m going to give a question and I want you to leave a comment and also engage in other peoples comments down below. 

“What is a stone in your life?” 

Matthew 4:1-11

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

The devil tries to get Jesus to jump off a high place to see the angels catch Him.

2. The second exchange, Jesus references testing God. 

The devil tries to exchange faith for thoughts, the devil wants to steal your faith and exchange it with thoughts.

  • 1st exchange was what we allow into our life
  • 2nd exchange is what we think… Any thoughts that questions your relationship with God.

There are people who have been struggling with their faith, because they allowed the devil to exchange their thoughts for their faith.

Did anyone catch the first word the devil says to Jesus in this test…. IF… you are the Son of God… This was an attempt to cause insecurity, doubt in WHO He was.

  • The moment the devil begins whispering doubt in your ear is the moment he is scared of you.
  • He is trying everything to exchange your faith with doubt.

How do you reclaim your faith?

  • You stop testing the insecurities the devil whispers in your ear.
  • You read the Word to know who you are and Whose you are.

The lack of Bible in your life is connected to your lack of confidence. Your insecurities and doubts are hard to overcome when you don’t have the Word.

Matthew 4:1-11

8-9 For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”

10 Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”

11 The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.

The devil tries to get Jesus to bow down and worship him..

  • first exchange was what we allow into our life
  • second exchange was what we think

3. The third exchange is what we worship

Worship is serving. The devil is after who or what we serve. The devil exchanges serving God with serving anything or anyone else.

This test is about worship…Serving God is our worship.

This is the scariest point because some people don’t realize that the devil has swapped God with something else.  The devil will spend more time convincing you to dedicate your life to anything but Jesus.

The devil will try and convince you, that if you simply dedicate your actions to someone or something, all the doors will open and everything will be good.

God says it so plainly… “do not allow your heart to be divided.” 

Every day your actions are for God. Sunday is not the only day for Worship.

This test is where most believers fail Monday through Saturday. 

When your relationship with Jesus only moves forward on Sunday, it is evident the devil has split your heart; and convinced you that the busy-ness of life is first priority over God.

I want you to have Hope through temptation.

Your next step TODAY is make Jesus a priority in your life.

If you would truly make Jesus a priority in your life:

– the Word of God would not be exchanged for anything.

– your faith would not be exchanged for your thoughts. 

– and your worship would be undivided