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Testing: Lenten Devotions

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Lenten Devotions, Testing the Spirits, Tests

“Seeing that a large crowd was coming toward Him, Jesus said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’ He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.’ One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.'”

(John 6:5b-10a ESV)

Testing shows you the way a person thinks—do they give up? Do they get creative? Do they ask for help?

Faced with a hungry crowd, Philip analyzed the finances of the situation. Andrew summed up the resources available. Together they made the need very clear. And then Jesus stepped in and actually met that need.

It’s like that for us today, isn’t it? We can look at the extent of human suffering—grief, pain, evil, sin, death. We can sum up what’s available to meet those needs (never enough). And then Jesus steps in and gives us—not just bread, but Himself. He gives Himself to suffer, die, and rise again, so that we may live forever—healed, forgiven, and satisfied.

When we are tested to the breaking point, the only thing we can do is cry out to Jesus for help. We see the need—but only He can answer it. And He will hear us when we pray. He who gave Himself up for us all, how could He love us less today?

We Pray: Lord, help me with the problems that face me now. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* Did you like or hate tests as a child? Why?
* Tell about a hard time when God provided for your needs.
* What is a major problem you are facing? Ask Jesus for help.

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 23, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights


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