Did you miss yesterday’s article? Read it here: Yesterdays When You Are Tempted to Speed Up the Trip to Heaven – Part 1
By Lisa Copen
Just as with Job and Jesus, although you may be tempted, God has provided the power to overcome the temptation; “No temptation [will] seize you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 1:13).
In those dark moments of a sleepless, painful night, shadows of temptation may dance on your walls, encouraging you to take a few extra pills and relieve the pain, but angels are attending you. Before the sun set to create this night of desperation, God already knew that you would encounter Satan’s temptation, and He said:
“Satan can’t harm [put your name here]. He can tempt all he wants, but I know that my child will rely on my power and promises to overcome it or I never would have allowed this.”
And then for good measure, God send a few angels to attend to you. Perhaps a phone call will come. You’ll look over and see your Bible and pick it up. You’ll fall on your knees and cry out to God one more time. You’ll think of loved ones that will find you and whose lives will never be the same.
Angels are in your home attending to you to help you overcome the temptation.
Jesus knows temptation. Satan’s day book had forty days crossed out and the only thing on that ‘to do’ list said, “tempt Jesus.” That was all he had planned. And Jesus’ calendar had forty days marked out that said, “fast and pray.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if day forty-one said “Eat!”
Jesus was human and, big surprise–He was hungry! (Matthew 4:2) Jesus was out there in the desert with Satan on His back and I would guess more than once He imagined just taking a rock and turning it into an ice cream cone, even a Popsicle. So what did Satan use as His temptation? He talked about food! Bread of all things; mouthwatering, buttered, fresh from the oven, carbo-hydrated comfort food, energy-producing bread! The one thing he knew Jesus desired.
What do you desire? Healing perhaps? Release from the pain? These are the things in which Satan will tempt you with for his purpose. If not suicide, then New Age pain clinics that hypnotize you, call forth the spirits to release your pain; quackery that will strip you of your income. Even well-meaning Christians get their theology mixed up and tell you that you can’t serve God or be of value to others or to the church until you are competely healed.
Why did God allow Jesus to experience this temptation?
One of the reasons: “Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted,” (Hebrews 2:18). He understands! He knows exactly what you are going through. If Jesus had not experienced temptation, or He was not able to resist it in His human form, how could He understand our own temptations?
So, why are you experiencing temptation? Perhaps one of the reasons is because you will be able to help those who are being tempted. Most Christians that are in the depths of despair know the Scriptures. They know God loves them. But they just don’t want to “do life” anymore with the terms that they’ve been handed.
I heartily encourage you to seek professional counsel if thoughts of ending it all have entered your mind. This is vitally important. I also encourage you to seek out a friend, a spiritual mentor.
[pullquote]It doesn’t have to be someone with the same illness that you have. [/pullquote]It doesn’t have to be someone in your same age bracket, but seek out someone who has suffered with pain and depression and encourage one another. No self-help book, New Age guru, or trendy herb will encourage you like a friend in Christ that you can “get real with.”
Lisa Copen is the author of ‘Why Can’t I Make People Understand: Discovering the Validation Those With Chronic Illness Seek and Why and the founder of Rest Ministries. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 1993.