READ: MATTHEW 4:1-11; 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13; HEBREWS 4:14-16
How can we resist temptation?
As Christians, when we encounter something we know Jesus wouldn’t want us to do, we have a choice. Will we give in to the temptation? Or will we trust Jesus to empower us to do the right thing?
Sometimes, trusting Jesus is easier said than done. But it can help to remember why Jesus can be trusted. Jesus is fully God, and when He became human, He didn’t withhold Himself from any kind of human hardship. He personally faced temptations to sin when He was on earth, and yet, He resisted every time. Jesus never sinned. He can empathize with us because He knows firsthand what temptation is like.
Whenever we’re tempted, we can cry out to Jesus with confidence because we know that He understands what we’re facing. But even more than that, He has power over sin. If we’ve put our trust in Jesus, His Holy Spirit is inside us, so we can depend on Him to help us not give in to temptation. And even when we do give in, He’ll always forgive us. We can know that God’s forgiveness is sure because Jesus took all our sin upon Himself when He died on the cross—and then He rose from the dead, defeating sin and death once and for all.
When Jesus returns, we won’t struggle with sin anymore. But until then, no matter what temptations we experience, Jesus is always with us. We can trust Him to give us the wisdom and courage we need to follow Him in every part of our lives: His call is to love God and those around us. To love as we have been loved by God (1 John 4:19).
Next time you face temptation, run to Jesus. You can always go to Him, even in the times you give in to sin. Regardless of how successful we are at resisting temptation, we can know that Jesus holds us in love, and His forgiveness is unshaken. • A. W. Smith
• What kinds of temptations are hardest for you to resist? Consider taking a moment to talk to Jesus about this. You can be totally honest. He won’t be surprised, and He won’t reject you.
• God wants to help us resist and/or run away from temptation. One of the ways God helps us is through community with other Christians. When you’re struggling, who are trusted Christians in your life you’d be comfortable talking to and asking to pray for you? If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you identify someone in the future.
[Jesus] has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)