Overcoming Temptation

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB)
"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 cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."

As we travel through life, we encounter numerous temptations of all kinds. Sometimes they can be overwhelming and cause great distress and discouragement. They often wear us down to the point of hopelessness, to the point of yielding. But there is hope for us. Jesus, our high priest, or redeemer, our friend, knows exactly what we are going through. He knows what it is like to be tempted nearly to the breaking point. He can empathize with our trials, since He experienced them Himself. Because of this, we can have the hope, the encouragement, that Jesus is willing and able to help us in our time of need, when temptations surround us and threaten to cause us to fall. When we call out to Him in our distress He will hear us and help us to overcome, for He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4)

Often our natural inclination is to view temptations and trials purely as negative events, but they can be seen as opportunities for the strengthening of our faith and endurance. Like the one, who through discipline places stress on one's muscles for the development of physical strength and endurance, temptations and trials can, if faced properly, produce a stronger faith and perseverance. They can be the fire that refines us into the finest gold. But we do not have to do this alone, and neither can we. Only through the power of Jesus can we endure trials and temptations. Only through Christ can our faith and endurance mature. We can have this hope, even in our darkest periods of trouble, because He has promised to always be with us. He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). As long as we remain connected to Christ through a living relationship with Him, we will be able to face the trials and temptations of life with confidence and success, knowing that through His power we can overcome them.

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