Temptation: a burden turned blessing
It’s here again. Dark. Familiar. Frightening. The moment you’ve been dreading since the last time.
Your mind races, your pulse quickens, and the joy you felt just moments ago dissipates as you watch yourself do the very thing you hate, not helpless to resist, but painfully limited in your human resolve to do so.
Even as you push the button, take a bite, speak the words—perform whatever deceptively simple act that goes against God’s will—you’re sorry.
Satisfaction succors, yes, a wave of warmth most welcome, but it’s fleeting and incomplete.
Exposed, cold, ashamed, your heart begins to weep.
It’s not supposed to be like this. You didn’t think it could be like this. You’re a child of the living God, for cryin’ out loud!
At least you think you are.
Once upon a time, you put your faith in the Gospel and were rescued, supposedly, from sin and its consequences. So why the struggle? Why this agony? Could it be you’ve finally run up a sin bill too high for Jesus’ blood to cover?
The Enemy would like you to believe that, of course—in fact, he’s working very hard to make you believe it—but Jesus’ blood was more than enough to pay your sin bill, past, present, and future (1 Peter 3:18).
Rest assured, if you have accepted God’s forgiveness made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection by surrendering control of your life to Him, as proven by your continued desire to please Him over anyone else and obey Him in all things (1 John 2:3; Philippians 2:13), you are a child of God, rescued not only from the consequences of sin, but also from its present power and future presence in Heaven (Romans 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:15, 5:5).
Don’t be discouraged!
We all struggle with temptation. It just comes with being stuck in these earthly bodies we’re wearing, but your soul is just as saved as it ever was, even if some of the choices you make as God moves you toward Christ-likeness don’t leave you as content and peaceful as you could be (Philippians 1:6; Romans 7:15-25).
Instead, be encouraged!
Your aching heart is proof that you belong to God (1 John 3:24; Ephesians 4:30), as the Holy Spirit only dwells in the hearts of His children (Galatians 4:6; 1 John 5:12), strong evidence that He is still at work in your life.
Christian, through Jesus, you have everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), whether you feel like it in this moment or not, and if you let Him, God will give you the power going forward to do all the important things He’s planned for you to do for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10-11, 3:16).
All you have to do is cooperate.
Heed the Holy Spirit’s warnings (Isaiah 30:21). Look for the escape routes God provides and take them (1 Corinthians 10:13). If and when you fail, accept the Holy Spirit’s conviction with gratitude (John 16:8), confess and turn away from your sin (1 John 1:9), and keep stepping forward in faith (Romans 1:5).
Ignore the Enemy’s lies and leave the past in the past like God does (John 8:44; Hebrews 8:12).
Keep choosing Jesus, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, and before you know it, this present struggle will be nothing but a distant memory, useful for encouraging others with the same sin inclinations as yours, a heavy burden turned blessing.
Doubt it? Don’t! All things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26).