Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12
But how do we persevere and not be tempted?
For me, temptation is a hard thing, when I am truly tempted it is really hard to get through, but how do we even avoid temptation? Continuing on from James 1:12 it says but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. The devil finds out our evil desires that are most easy for us to give in to and he tempts us with them continually. Kind of like when your siblings shout something nasty, your immediate (fleshly) response is to shout back something even more hurtful, where as the bible says a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1). Our fleshly evil desires motto could be something like, “When someone hurts me I am going to hurt them back worse.” When someone hurts us we are immediately tempted to retort and answer just as hurtful. So how can we stay away from this kind of temptation so that we are not even tempted to do such a thing?
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – Matthew 26:41.
Watch and pray, the command to pray is listed four times (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 22:40; Luke 22:46) in the Bible. Praying to Jesus for His strength and mercy removes the fleshy desire which if not reined in turns into temptation. As it says above: The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
But what if you want to give in to your sinful desires?
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. – 1 Timothy 6:9
This takes even more determination from your spirit to pull down your body’s weakness. Prayer and fasting go hand in hand, with determination and help from the LORD all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26b).
– Written by Meggie. An activity for Omnibus II, Church Fathers through the Reformation.