Temptation is something we all endure on a regular basis. Whether we are tempted to be prideful, to be offended, to be selfish, to judge, to gossip, to lie… every one of will face the snare of temptation in some way, shape or form. But, there is good news: God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure. He will provide a way for us to overcome these trials in His Strength, so that we will not be ensared in their traps.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The good news doesn’t end there. Our Merciful God is not merely a bystander to our temptations. The Bible tells us that He too, was tempted while on earth in human form. In this way, He is able to relate to our suffering and the temptations we face. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15
When Jesus was in the desert for forty days, Satan tempted him three times; with the allure of food, protection and power. And each time, Jesus responded with Scripture, refuting Satan’s lies. What does Jesus’ example teach us? When we are tempted, as we surely will be, we must respond with the Living Word of God. We must refute the lies we face with the Truth of Scripture. When we are tempted to be prideful, we must remember the words of Psalms 149:4: “For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.”
When we are tempted to be offended we would do well to recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:21-22. “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.'”
When we are tempted to gossip, let us learn from Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Yes, we will all face temption, brothers and sisters; how we respond to it reveals the true nature of our heart. Don’t let the snare of temptation enslave you. Instead, allow the truth of the Scriptures to guide your thoughts, words and actions. By following Jesus’ example, we honour His Sacrifice and point others to Him. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.