Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
What is your most persistent temptation? Why is it so difficult to say no to this temptation and yes to God? Why is temptation so attractive and powerful? Couldn’t God adjust the degree of your temptation so that you wouldn’t be tempted so much? Because men and women fall to one sin or another and often end up in ruin, it seems logical (man’s thinking) that God would stay one step ahead diffusing the land mines along the path.
Couldn’t God eliminate the devil? If Satan were gone, we could resist temptation much more easily. Why doesn’t God obliterate Satan? Isaiah 55:8,9 says; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” David’s great sin with Bathsheba happened while the king was resting on the roof top and she was taking a bath next door. Couldn’t God have arranged for her to take her bath some time earlier or much later? The answer, God does not shield us from circumstances that trigger or provoke us to sin. It was the Holy Spirit that lead Christ into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Why temptation? What is the purpose? With temptation there are great possibilities for failure, but it’s God’s method of testing our loyalty and our love. We cannot say we love someone until we have had to make some hard choices on their behalf. God does not make choices easier for a reason, our temptation is a character building program that He has designed to help us. There is a saying, “talent is formed in solitude, but character in the storms of life.” Look at temptation as God’s magnifying glass to show how much work He has left to do in our lives. What is God teaching us through temptations and struggles? To love Him, depend upon His Word and endure the trials with steadfastness and faithfulness.
God uses our sins to show us His grace and power. “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Experiencing God’s sufficient grace is certainly something we don’t deserve, yet graciously receive. Knowing His power is perfected in our weakness, gives us strength to overcome sin's control.
Thought: What sin is it that keeps holding you captive? Is it an obvious one: drunkenness, adultery, gluttony, homosexuality, an addiction of any kind? Maybe it is a very private sin, the one in your mind: pride, fear, bitterness, envy, anxiety, jealousy, or hatred. Whatever it is, God can deliver you from that sin. Sin’s power need not have rule over you. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. A Christian should recognize that victory is always available, because a believer can never get into temptation that he cannot get out of.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man. God will provide for you the way of escape–––that you may be able to endure the temptation. The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials. When believer’s have successfully and victoriously gone through trials this indicates the genuineness of their faith. They, therefore, will receive the crown of life mentioned in James 1:12, the Christian’s ultimate reward of eternal life.