Overcoming Trials and Temptations
Read: 1 Pet. 1:6-7
Being a Christian does not take away trials and temptations. In fact, Christians
will face more trials and temptations than non-believers. James 1:13-14.
The source of temptation is the devil, not God. Satan tempts us by playing with
our own desires (James 1: 14). When we cherish in our hearts evil or ungodly desires,
we give him a weapon to use against us. According to 1 John 2: 15-17, he uses:
- The lust of the flesh,
- The lust of the eyes,
- And the pride of life.
Satan uses temptation to bring spiritual destruction. He does not want anyone to
serve God, so he brings temptations to break our relationship with God and put us
under bondage. He wants to cause disobedience in our hearts. If, on the other hand,
we refuse to give in to temptation, we overcome Satan becoming stronger than we
Temptation allowed by God
Read: James 1:2-3
In the story of Job, God allowed Satan to tempt a man who was blameless and righteous.
(Job 1:12; 2:6). However, God imposed boundaries. There was a limit to what Satan
could do to Job. Job was faithful to the end. He overcame the plans of the enemy.
As a result of this, he became more fruitful and closer to his Creator (Job 42:1-17).
We, as believers, must keep in mind that God will never allow the enemy to tempt
us beyond our ability to endure. 1 Cor 10: 13.
God allows trials and temptations in our lives in order to:
- Make us teachable and disciplined. Deut 8:2-5;
- Reveal the quality of our foundation. 1 Cor 3:10-15;
- Refine and purify us. Ps 66: 1 0;
- Cause our faith to become strong. 1 Pet 1: 6-7;
- Reveal our weaknesses so that we can deal with them. Deut 8:2; 2 Chron 32:31;
God wants to make us strong, and the only way to do this is to allow pressure and
fire into our lives. When we overcome small trials, we are prepared to face bigger
trials. These trials not only strengthen our spiritual muscles, but also give us
a wonderful testimony to share with others. It makes us become a people of integrity.
- We must always use God’s Word to fight against the enemy. This was the way Jesus
dealt with the devil when He was tempted. Matt 4:1-11.
- We have to resist the devil and his plans. Do not give in to temptation. James 4:7.
3. We must put on the spiritual armor Eph.6: 10-18
- God’s truth
- God‘s righteousness
- The Gospel of peace
- The Shield of faith
- The Helmet of salvation
- The Sword of the Spirit
4. We must be watchful and prayerful Matt 6:13; Luke 22:40,46.
5. We must seek help from the Lord and from other believers on whom we can depend.
Heb 4:15; 2:18
Remember, temptation is not sin. Sin occurs when we yield to the temptation. Jesus
himself was tempted. He overcame every temptation by standing on God’s Word. Matt
4:1-11. We need to be obedient to the word of God and be overcomers.
When facing temptation, we need to fully appreciate what we might be up against.2
Cor 2:11; Eph 6:12; 2 Cor 10:3-5
Satan usually operates in the soulish realm. He operates through our mind, will,
and emotions. This is why we must bring our mind under the subjection of Christ.2
Cor 1 1:3; 1 Cor 10:13; Jas 1:12;
Rev 3:1 1.
When We Fail
What happens when we do yield to temptation?
Our sin and weaknesses are revealed, but we should realize that our failure is not
the end of everything. We should move on with life.
- Ask God’s forgiveness and correct mistakes. 1 Jn 1:9.
- We must not listen to Satan’s accusations and condemnation. He will always try to
convince us to give up; he will try to hold us back.
- We must draw near to God (Jas.4:8.)We must keep our focus on Jesus, allow Him to
cleanse our heart and mind. This will make us eager and enthusiastic about living
a life filled with good deeds. Heb 9:14; Titus 2:14.