Just as a compass’ needle feels the pull towards the magnetic poles, so, too, man feels the pull towards many things that he knows are not right; we call this temptation. It is important to remember some things about temptation. First, temptation is common to all Christians. We read; “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10.13ASV). Even Christ was tempted (see Matthew 4.1-11). How much more are we? Jesus, even though He was tempted, did not sin. The Bible says; “For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4.15ASV). Temptation is from the devil. God does not tempt anyone. Again, we read in the Bible; “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man:” (James 1.13ASV). God does not tempt us but He allows us to be tempted. Job endured incredible testing and temptation. We read:
Job 1.6-12 (KJV)
Lastly, temptation is not sin; giving in to it is. Temptation gives us the opportunity to overcome. We read:
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye know him who is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the evil one.
1 John 2.14ASV
A Christian can claim the promise that no temptation is greater than we can bear. I repeat what the Bible says; “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10.13ASV). Overcoming temptation relates to two things, resisting the enemy and submitting to God. We read; “Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4.7ASV).
Christian, in your hour of temptation, remember that you are not alone. Jesus has endured temptation, and overcome it, and He is with you to help you overcome as well. Lean on Him. Draw strength from Him. Pray to Him. What a friend we have in Jesus.
Graham, Billy and Charles G Ward. The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook.
Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1984.
Scripture references taken from the American Standard Version and the King James Version.