We have been told taught how to endure suffering or seriously bad situation; we know the blessings and benefits of endurance in life, but do you know that there is another form of endurance which is very important as Christians? And that is enduring temptation. The Bible says in the Book of James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
You must have known how to resist temptation, run away from temptation or pray against it, but there are some temptations you cannot just run away from, that you can’t just reject just once and end it, there are some temptations that we must endure till the end without falling into it.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Some temptations last for few minutes and when you reject and resist, it disappears. Some temptations last for few days or months and end there, but some last even for years and they are very close to you that you need to endure till the end without giving in or falling into it. That is where enduring temptations comes.
Enduring temptation is a major part of Christian living. If you know how to endure suffering, how to endure persecution, how to endure people’s abuse and ridicule, you must know how to endure temptations till the end without falling.
There are temptations within or without that we resist.
What is temptation? Temptation is a presentation, persuasion or pressure to commit sin. This can come within your mind or outside, around you. And how do we endure temptation? It is the same way we endure suffering, we are not moved by it, we do not succumb to it, we do not accept or fall for it no matter how long the temptation lasts.
Many Christians usually wonder why are they battling with sinful thoughts and imaginations after they have given their lives to Jesus. Why the lustful, sinful desire after you have been saved? Why the negative and even blasphemous thoughts coming into your mind uncontrollable? And you begin to wonder, does it mean you are not genuinely saved or you are not a child of God? No, it is called temptation within which you must endure without being moved by it. Though you keep praying for sanctification and purification of your mind by the Blood of Jesus, but you don’t fall for it, you don’t accept it. You will keep reject. But how long the sinful thoughts will last, only God knows and that should be your concern, your concern is that you do not agree nor accept the sinful or carnal thoughts.
For example, as a single brother, sister or those in marital relationship, the urge for premarital sex or such may come, you must put endure it and keep UNDER your body and feeling and put it under control. After you have given your life to Christ, the pressure of old sin may come, you must endure it till it fades away. You Are at the same workplace or school or residence with a sinful, ungodly person who always want to tempt you into sin, maybe to annoy or seduce you, maybe troublesome, backbiting or seductive person; in such a situation, you may not just immediately run away (except if it goes beyond normal) but you will need to endure it by the grace and strength of God.
Enduring temptation is facing temptation every day and not giving in till that temptation expires. Every temptation has an expiry date, no matter what, it will end. So the Bible admonishes us to endure till that end without giving in to its pressure, feeling, deception and destruction.
We are faced with sinful demands, suggestions, seductions and pressures every day, and that is what is called temptation – temptation is a demand or attraction to sin – and some of these temptations we can run away from, but some we can’t; some we can stop, but some we can’t; some we can reject and it will still come back tomorrow; some are short time but some are long time; some are within while some are without. That is when enduring it comes, that we are continuously faced with sinful notions within and without, sinful demands, suggestions, seductions or pressure without giving in or falling into it. Here is what the Bible says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” James 1:12.
HOW CAN IT BE?
How can a fray and mortal man and woman endure temptation without giving in for a day? It’s not by human power, it’s not possible by human strength, but by:
It’s By God’s Grace.
The Bible says in Titus 1:10 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” It’s the grace of God that enables us to continuously deny, reject and refuse temptation, and helps us to live godly. That is the reason we pray and ask for God’s grace every day. The grace of yesterday is not enough for the temptation of today.
It’s By God’s Strength Into Our Inner Man.
Here is what the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. Meaning we can endure temptations without falling for it by the grace of God. The strength here is not just to get prosperity or to succeed in life, but also to endure temptations to the end without falling into it.
It’s By Our Self-Discipline!
Apostle Paul said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27. We must discipline our body – our eyes on what we look at, our ears, our hands, our tongues, our feet, our feeling, our thoughts, etc. We must not allow these to rule us but we rule them by the word of God even when the pressures and feelings are high. What you look and watch on your phone, on your TV, what you read, where you go and so on must be controlled by the Word of God. Self-discipline is one of the pillars of Christian life.
It’s By Our Self-Determination!
Are you finding yourself falling into repeated sin or into one addicted sin or the other, and yet you have genuinely rededicated your life to Jesus and have determined not to go back into such sin and but still you do. It’s either your re-dedication is not genuine or your determination is not strong enough. You know what it means to rededicate your life to Jesus? It means to repent and re-confess all your sins and forsake them and determine to serve God without looking back.
Now, why do we look back into the sin again after a genuine repentance? It’s because our determination to serve God is not strong ENOUGH. You want to know how I make that conclusion? Now, let’s look at it this way: For example, you have been falling back into masturbation now and then. Now if you see about 10 Christians who have commit masturbation and drop dead immediately and you are told that anyone who by chance or by mistake masturbates will die immediately, please will you still commit the dirty masturbation? No matter the feeling and the pressure, will you? That is what the Bible says in Hebrews 12:4, “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” The New Life Version says, “In your fight against sin, you have not yet had to stand against sin with your blood.” That is what it means, “You have not yet resisted or fight against sin” with strong determine of life or dead, that is the reason you still fall back into that sin after several confessions and repentance.
Until you make a strong determination of life or death, you will still be falling back into that sin no matter who pray for you, how many time you confess or repent.
Acts 11:23, “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
We must purpose in our hearts with all determination like Daniel not to defile ourselves with any sin again, that is the only way to serve God without looking back.
James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
If we endure the present juicy-like temporal temptation, we will enjoy forever with God in heaven.
“Father we thank You for saving us through Your Son Jesus Christ. We ask You to en-grace us, empower us, enable us as we discipline ourselves and determine with all our being and heart without looking back again. In JESUS name we pray.” Amen
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