Temptation. There is no escaping it. But know this: it can help you to deepen and grow spiritually, causing you to cling that much tighter to the Lord Himself.
It’s been said, “Christians are a lot like teabags. You don’t know what they are made of until you put them in hot water.” Perhaps you’re in the “hot water” of temptation right now. God has given you a weapon to use, and it’s called the Bible.
When Jesus faced His temptation in the wilderness, He gave us an example to follow, a template to apply. Being God, He could have sent Satan away or even removed Himself from the place where the enemy was. Instead, He faced Satan as a man and stood on ground that we too can occupy.
Each time Jesus was tempted, He quoted the Scripture. We read in Luke 4:12, “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It is written, “You shall not tempt the LORD your God.”’” You need to know and quote Scripture when you are tempted. The psalmist wrote, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” and “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:9, 11 nkjv).
It’s good to carry a Bible in your briefcase, backpack, or purse. But the best place to carry the Word of God is in your heart! Why? Because Satan can quote Scripture to you too! Satan entices you, trips you up, and then tells you “God will not forgive you!” We pull out the Sword and reply, “It is written, ‘If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us . . .’ ” (1 John 1:9 nkjv).
Satan whispers in your ear, “You’ve sinned, and now God condemns you!” We can come back with, “It is written, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ . . .’ ” (Romans 8:1 nkjv). The devil tells us, “You’re not going to make it. I’ll get you. You’ll fall again!” You reply, “It is written, ‘And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’ ” (John 10:28 kjv).You can also say, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 nkjv).
Perhaps when tragedy hits, the enemy will say, “Your life is over, and ruined. God has abandoned you.” You come back with God’s Word! It is written, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 nlt).
When a loved one dies, the enemy says, “That’s it. They are gone. Death is the end!” You reply, “It is written that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord” (see 2 Corinthians 5:8). Jesus also said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25 nkjv).
I encourage you to memorize and use the Word of God when being tempted. It will make all the difference.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.