1 Corinthians 10:13 -- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Ever been tempted? Ever desire something that you know you're not supposed to have?
We've all been there. Jesus has even been there.
Here is the story: Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, It is written:
'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'
Jesus answered him, It is also written:
'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written:
'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus can understand our trials, because He went through them.
Hebrews 2:18 says, "For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
But the difference between us and Him? He never gave into it. Never. Not once. Imagine that - living a life completely free of temptations. It would be nice, huh?
But enter in --- SIN.
Because of that three-lettered word, we face temptation. Satan throws things at us daily. Every hour, every second. Most of the time we give into it without giving it a second thought. Ever been tempted with sexual pictures? Ever been tempted into sexual acts? Ever been tempted to steal? Ever been tempted to laugh at someone because all of your friends are doing it?
Did you give into those things?
At times we do. And sometimes we don't feel guilty. Why is that? As a Christian, we're supposed to feel conviction when we go against the laws of the Lord. But so many times we don't. I know that I don't 100% of the time. It's become routine for us. We excuse it.
"No one is going to know if I look at one more picture."
"No one will notice if one pack of gum is missing."
"If I don't laugh with them, they might label me as different."
"I love him, so it's okay."
"Just one more time."
"After this, I'll make a change..."
But someone does know if we look at another picture. Someone does know that the gum is missing. Someone does care when you laugh at His child. Someone does care if you misuse the practice of sex inside of marriage, and engage in premarital sex. Someone does care that your going through with it one more time. Someone knows whether or not that change will come about.
He cares about every detail of our lives. He knows when we desire, lust and are tempted into situations that seem to pull us farther away from Him. You may think that you're too far past the point of no return, but with God, there isn't one. He will always forgive you. He will always hear what you have to say. But you have to tell Him. Talk to Him. Let Him know your fears, doubts and troubles. He wants to hear from you, so that He can forgive you. If you never ask, how can He comfort your fears and let you know that you've been forgiven already?
You've committed the sin. You let the temptation get the best of you. But then you think for a second, "Maybe I shouldn't have done that." 15 minutes later though, it's old news. You've forgotten about it, and it becomes ingrained in you. Soon, you're doing it so often that you don't have those convicting thoughts. It's become normal.
News Flash: God doesn't want normal. He doesn't want lukewarm.
Revelation 3:15-16 -- I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
He wants people in His kingdom that honor Him, love Him, persevere for Him. We all stumble and fall. We give into temptations, because we are human. It's what we do with it, that counts. Are you going to keep going back to it? Or are you going to be stronger than it? Are you going to continue it because it's normal and comfortable to you? Or are you going to fight it and say that God is bigger than it, and be okay with being uncomfortable and stirred by your convictions?
I'm tempted all the time. All day long. It's hard. But I know that when I am struggling, I'm not alone in that struggle. In knowing that Jesus was tempted, it gives me hope that I can overcome.
James 1:12-15 gives us that hope in perseverance.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.How can you try and fight temptation and it's traps? With the Word of God, and prayer.
Matthew 26:41 says: "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
Don't give into it any longer. Be stronger than it. In your suffering and troubles that Satan will throw your way, you become more like Christ. And He promises that your reward will be great.
To me, that's well worth the temptations and trials that I face on this earth.