Enduring Trials and Temptations

Hebrews 12:3-6 ESV

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.’”

We Christians will be tempted to sin from time to time. Satan will try all sorts of tricks to try to trip us up and to get us to fail and to fall. And he has many humans he uses in his arsenal against us, too, who will come against us, who will attack us, who will falsely accuse of things we did not do or say, and who will try to egg us on in an attempt to get us to sin against God.

But God allows these things to take place in our lives, not because he is tempting us to sin, for he cannot, and not because he wants us to fail, for he does not, but in order to discipline us in the ways of the Lord and to strengthen us in our determination to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to God. For trials will either make us or break us, depending on how we respond.

Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV

“It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

When we go through trials, and/or when we are faced with temptation to sin, our faith is being tested. We can either let the trials and temptations get the best of us and cave to them, or we can trust the Lord through our trials and let them teach us perseverance and dependence on the Lord and determination to stay the course and to keep fighting the good fight of faith.

For God allows us to go through difficult times as his divine discipline in our lives in order to grow us and to strengthen us in our walks of faith and to teach us steadfastness of spirit. So, trials are for our good, that we may share in God’s holiness. And yes, they are painful, and not pleasant. But if we have been trained in godly disciplines by them, later they yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in our lives.

But with regard to temptation, we must make certain that we are not ourselves opening the door for that. So daily we must, by the Spirit, be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and daily we must be dying to sin and to self and walking with our Lord in obedience to his commands. And we must be resisting Satan and fleeing temptation and drawing near unto God and daily saying “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to the Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”

We are not to be weak and fearful people who are easily persuaded to compromise our faith and convictions or who run away at the first sign of opposition. We are to be those who find our strength in the Lord to endure and to persevere and to remain steadfast in faith and purpose, regardless of what happens in our lives, and regardless of what other people do to us.

And we are to make straight paths for our feet. And a straight path is the way of holiness and righteousness. It is the path of integrity and honesty and faithfulness and moral purity. It is not crooked in any way. It is not the way of deliberate and habitual sin. But it is the way of godly living and of obedience to our Lord and to his commands.

And our feet represent our walks of faith, and our walks are our conduct and our practices (habits). So this has to do with how we live our lives day in and day out – the things that we say and do as a matter of life course. We should be people who live our daily lives in purity of devotion and in faithfulness to our Lord, free from habitual sin, and doing what pleases Jesus, because we love him, and because we want to serve him.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]

A Believer’s Prayer

An Original Work / July 31, 2012

With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.

Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.

Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.

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