Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is tested, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Temptation is the desire to engage in short-term pleasure known as sin, which puts our physical and eternal well-being at risk. Sin is typically associated with actions that displease God, such as sexual immorality, having other gods, lying, stealing, idolatry, murder, false witnessing, greed, slandering, envy, gluttony, and homosexuality, and let’s not forget sin includes a foul tongue and using God’s name in vain. However, sin runs deep and can take various forms that often go unnoticed in today’s society.
The sins I mentioned are indeed evil, but the list is much longer and temptation, sent by the adversary (Satan), can manifest in many different ways.
Paul shares in, 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
The Holy Spirit enables the born-again believer to resist temptation, while Jesus shows us the way. Through godly sorrow and repentance, we can find forgiveness. In addition, prayer, studying the Bible and fasting help us purify ourselves to receive Christ’s strength to endure and withstand the enemy’s tactics. It takes work!
It is important to recognize that temptation also reveals its wicked head when we are tempted to respond to wickedness with evil, negative attitudes, foul language, or sarcasm.
In Ephesians 5:4, Paul said,
“Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
This verse and several like it confirm that this behavior is not a, but serious business.
As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport?
It is also a sin to engage in social media rivalries, over doctrines and opinions, engage in political mockery, or make light of the sick and those who are spiritually and mentally challenged.
Truth be told, it is important to differentiate between speaking the truth in an honorable way and acting out with an immature Spirit and condemning heart.
Do you make it a habit to follow well-known names in media, journalism, and politics and partake in the division they create daily?
Have you become prideful, like the ego they display? Do you condone name-calling or outright vicious vocabulary about another human, no matter how crazy they may seem?
Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.
Meekness does not mean weakness; we are not to pretend to be lovey-dovey in order to get along. Yes, we are to speak the truth, but we are also to have compassion and be able to speak to people in a way that touches their hearts, and Spirit and not slice their flesh. In order to do that, it takes the Holy Spirit, who fills us with the power to withstand these temptations to be more Christlike, not live like the world, and place ourselves in the line of God’s judgment.
Again, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul confirms this teaching. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
It’s important to realize that billions of people are willingly sinning and succumbing to temptation every day, thinking that two wrongs make a right.
They do not!
Moreover, temptation comes in many forms. And even when sin is not an option for many, the adversary tries to wear out the saints by subjecting us to mistreatment. This mistreatment leads people to go at each other, and more divide erupts. People take sides without the whole story. God hates it!
I encourage you to remain vigilant and steadfast in love and accountability. Spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is a responsibility that must be carried out with care and discernment, while also showing love and giving warnings. These are challenging times for the church, and the situation will likely worsen.
The crown of life is God’s promise to those who stand firm in their faith, exemplify love and forgiveness, and practice repentance, self-control, and resilience. It is not an easy task, but we serve as an example to others who are also learning and growing.
1 Peter 4:12
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
There is no shame in being humbled by God and learning to love being the least, because the last shall be first for obeying God and loving Him before sin, and not just going along to get along.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Much love and respect,
C. Beach ©️