“Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means.” – C. S. Lewis.
Temptation comes in many forms. It can come as an enticement to break the law, cheating, flirting with what you know is wrong, bending the rules, listening to those invisible urges to do what you want to do rather than doing what is right, ignoring values and wondering why you should not take the easy way out to name a few. We will face temptations every day, some ordinary some not so ordinary. James 1:12 tells us, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
It would be nice if our struggle with temptation ended when we became a Christian. Unfortunately, we are not that lucky. God never promised to remove temptation from us, for even Christ was subject to it. The Bible says that He was “has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) We will experience temptation skirmishes until the day we are home with our Savior. Yes, we may triumph over specific temptations, but that doesn’t mean they will not come back. And when we experience victory over one, there are many other things the enemy can tempt us with.
There is light at the end of the tunnel of temptation. There is hope in the midst of each new trial. God’s word offers an unfathomable gift to the tempted. “Stand firm against him [the devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:9-10) Life will bring you many challenges and trials but stay strong with your trust in God and do not worry. No matter what tests, temptations, and trials are thrown at you, God is far more powerful than any evil.
The Bible says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Leaning on God, you are fully equipped to take on anything thrown at you. Jude 24 (ESV) adds, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,”
- How would you define “temptation” in your own words? What is the difference between temptation and sin?
- What are some things that you could do or strategies you could use to resist temptation?