The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the works of Your hands.~Psalm 138: 8 NKJV
Sometimes, I just feel weak. I have found myself many times in a cycle of being tempted, and failing miserably at saying “no” to whatever I’m being tempted by.
You know the process—where we give in to the enemy’s coaxing, or maybe just our own selfish desires. Then after we fall for whatever it is, we find ourselves buried deep beneath the boulders of guilt and shame, afraid we’ll never be free. We don’t even want to pray about it because we feel like we’ve talked with the Lord about this particular thing way too many times. After processing a little more, we end up asking for forgiveness because we know that’s the best thing to do, but then we quickly fall back into the very same trap.
Maybe it’s an addiction, a bad habit, or our spending is out of control. Perhaps it’s an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise, gossiping about people, pornography, substance abuse, infidelity, or working too much. Maybe it’s even something good that’s pulling us away from God’s best for our lives. Whatever it is, it is causing pain in our lives, and it might even be causing pain in the lives of the people around us.
I have found myself, many times, in places like these.
As I’ve matured, the temptations I face have changed. I have seen myself step out of a struggle I once had in an area of my life, only to step right into another form of temptation in another area. In those moments, I come face to face with my humanity, and am confronted with the realization that I am frail.
There is an encouraging verse I found in God’s word that speaks beautifully to this “temptation cycle” that so many of us face regularly:
So then, we must cling in faith to all we know to be true. For we have a magnificent King-Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are and conquered sin. So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.~Hebrews 4:14-16 TPT
Realizing how Jesus sympathizes with us in our humanness and frailty has changed my perspective concerning the guilt and shame. There is comfort in knowing Jesus identifies with us in the weaknesses and afflictions we suffer resulting from our bad choices. I appreciate that He has sorrow with us in what we go through, even if it’s our fault. He has compassion for us, feels our pain and anguish, and is even affected by the same feelings we have as we go through a situation. This is good news because it shows we are not alone, despite the isolation we feel when we are walking through something challenging.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.~Proverbs 3:5-7 NKJV
Friend, do you need strength today? Do you ever feel like the temptations you give into ever hold you back or deprive you of the things you would like to do? Do you ever feel like you have a “want of strength”? Is there a weakness of yours that is causing damage and suffering to yourself or others? Do you feel so incredibly desperate about this situation that you’re not even sure it will ever change? If so, I can certainly relate.
I want to challenge you to go freely and boldly to your Savior about what you’re struggling with. Don’t let yourself stay buried beneath the boulders of guilt and shame. Receive the mercy you so desperately need that Jesus Christ so freely gives. He knows your story. He sympathizes with you, He’s with you in it, and He grasps your situation with perfect understanding. Ask your Savior for the strength you need to overcome all of this. Let Jesus know you can’t do it on your own, and that you need His help. He knows what led you to this place, and He knows how to lead you out of it.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being such a compassionate King. Please help me with the issues I’ve been struggling with lately. You know what they are, and I know You care. I trust You to lead me every step of the way, as together, we lean into healing of the heart, mind, soul, and body. Everything I am, and every hope and desire I have, I surrender to You. Make me whole in You, and impart mercy’s kiss and grace upon my life.
Copyright 2021: Overcoming Temptation: Brandie J. Muncaster: All Rights Reserved