Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: No deal!

She walked away with £41,000 when there was in fact only £1,000 in the box.

A man, another time, accepted an offer of just over £5,000 although, if he had been patient and willing to take the risk, he could have won £75,000. Not so profitable for him.

I confess that I was for while hooked on the TV show Deal or No Deal, even to the point of

recording the first and last scenes each afternoon when I knew I was going to be out of the house at 4 o’clock.

Not that I was particularly envious of the players, nor interested in the prizes. Rather it was the fascination with the process of the participant getting to the end of the programme in one piece which held me. I suppose a certain understanding of chance and strategy is required by the contestants, along with clear thinking and concentration. A considerable quantity of hype and emotion can be detected there as well.

Deal or No Deal?

Just think back to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, the story recorded for us by both Matthew and Luke in the New Testament.

It was no game that day in the blazing desert when Satan faced Jesus with the same question.

“Deal or no deal? If you ... then I will give ...”

Tested almost beyond the limits of human endurance, the Lord was aware that he had to stand

firm against such powerful temptation and not give in to the persuasive cunning of the evil one.

No deal! Thrice no!

Because he made it through without surrender, so we as his followers may enjoy victory.

What did the apostle Peter say? ‘Be controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour him. Resist him ...’

Resist him, in God’s strength, as Jesus did.

The temptation to compromise long-held convictions or give up before setting out on the extra

mile, or live a life of pretence and make-believe, Satan knows how he can catch us. He also knows he is a defeated foe.

When Christ rose from death on that first Easter Day, the devil realised that he was indeed the weakest link. He will still try to trip us, however, and draw us away from God’s best. Our simple response must be ‘No deal’.

• ‘The Case for Easter’, by Lee Strobel, is our give-away book this spring. It is sub-titled ‘a journalist investigating the evidence for the resurrection’.

It is well-written, in places with graphic descriptions based on the biblical accounts of the death of Christ.

If you would like a copy, please write to Pause for Thought, c/o Beckett Newspapers,

11 Lismore Road, Eastbourne BN21 3BA.