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We must pass the test

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, he was afterward an hungred. Matt. 4:1,2 KJV

Usually we become acquainted with testing in an academic environment, where tests are given to ascertain how well you have retained the knowledge that the teacher has labored to impart to the student.

Tests can produce alarming reactions on behalf of the student such as worry, anxiety, fear and challenging one’s mental capacity of recall of information. But, also we know, life’s journey is not lived out in an academic sitting. Yet, for the believers in Christ, the journey of life is also subjected to many tests and they are usually initiated by the devil and his demons. These tests, which are usually unannounced, challenge our faith, and test our endurance and allegiance to Christ.

Along life’s journey, there are instances of troubling circumstances, which impede our progress, but in many cases, are only a test. The test can be to determine if our faith is strong and secure, to see if hope is alive, to see if our spiritual desires remain strong as signified by our testimonies.

It’s only a test. When life is already at a heightened level with this pandemic COVID-19, creating havoc and uncertainty and now other unfavorable circumstances that complicate relationships, and eat at the fabric of peace and tranquility have entered the picture. A test that puts people at odds with one another because of skin color and public symbols.

Matthew’s gospel informs us that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior was also tested along his journey of humanity. Note the timing. It was a time of weakness and vulnerability after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights after his baptism.

He was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Please know that our places of abode can be luxurious and our cities and towns garden spots of society, but they have become the wilderness as well. They have become places of confusion and strife, where there is an overabundance of crime, injustice, and protests that have come to a set of steps and streets nearby. And then, there is curfew in addition to the other already imposed restrictions which further challenge the normality of our living.

You and I must still pass the test.

Jesus continued his allegiance to the father in standing firm in rejecting Satan’s offers of unfruitful schemes, which diminishes one’s status of alignment with Christ. Jesus continued to speak power to action through the holy scriptures. Ultimately, the devil left him alone for a season. We must do the same. It is only a test.

REV. DR. JAMES TAYLOR III is pastor of Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is jht3@verizon.net.