Buffeted by Satan's temptations
(Thomas Watson, "The
Why does God allow His people to be buffeted
by Satan's temptations? He does it for many wise
and holy ends.
God allows His children to be
tempted, to test their love.
Our love to God is seen, when we can look a temptation
in the face—and turn our back upon it. Though the devil
comes as a subtle serpent, and offers a golden apple—yet
the one who loves God will not touch the forbidden fruit.
When the devil offered Christ all the kingdoms of the
world, and the glory of them—such was Christ's love to
His Father, that He abhorred the temptation. True love
will not be bribed. When the devil's darts
are most fiery
love to God is most fervent. "If
you love Me,
you will keep My commandments." John 14:15
God allows His children to be
tempted, to test their courage.
Many have no heart to resist a temptation. No sooner does
Satan come with his solicitations—but they yield. They are
like the coward, who as soon as the thief approaches, delivers
his purse. He is a valorous Christian, who brandishes the sword
against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The
of a saint is never more seen than in a battlefield, when he is
fighting with the red dragon—and by
the power of
the devil to flight!
God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be kept
from pride. Pride keeps grace low, so that it cannot thrive. As
the head swells—the other parts of the body waste away. Just
so, as pride swells—grace wastes away. God resists
that He may keep His children humble, He sometimes allows
them to fall into temptation.
"To keep me from getting puffed
up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan
to torment me and keep me from getting proud." The thorn
in the flesh was to burst the bubble of pride! Better is the
temptation which humbles me—than the duty which makes
me proud. Rather than a Christian should be proud, God lets
him fall into the devil's hands a while—that he may be cured
of swelling pride.
God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be fitter
to comfort others who are in the same distress, and speak a
word in due season to such as are weary. Paul was trained up
in the fencing-school of temptation, and was able to acquaint
others with Satan's wiles and stratagems, 2 Cor 2:11. A man
who has ridden over a place where there are quicksands, is
the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way. Just
so, he who has been buffeted by Satan, and has felt the claws
of the roaring lion—is the fittest man to deal with one who is
God allows His children to be tempted, to make them long
more for heaven, where they shall be out of gunshot, and
freed from the hissing of the old serpent! Satan vexes and
molests the saints. He lays his snares, and throws his fireballs!
But this only makes the children of God long to be gone from
hence, and pray that they had the wings of a dove, to fly
away and be at rest! Heaven is the place of rest—no bullets
of temptation fly there! The eagle that soars aloft in the air,
and sits perching upon the tops of high trees—is not troubled
with the stinging of serpents below. Just so, when believers
have got into heaven above, they shall not be stung by the
old serpent! The devil is cast out of the heavenly paradise.
Heaven is compared to an exceeding high mountain. It is so
high, that Satan's fiery darts cannot reach up to it! Death calls
the saints off the battlefield, where the bullets of temptation
fly thick—so that they may receive a victorious crown!