Why Extra Temptation Can Be Good For You
Article 5 of 35 from the Ponder This - 2002 series
February 2002 – WHY EXTRA TEMPTATION CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU by Ray Pritchard Since we started the campaign to read through the Bible this year, I have received a number of e-mails from people both locally and around the nation who have written to testify about the personal blessings they have already received. I think the most interesting comment has come from someone who is also memorizing Psalm 119. As he has worked his way through the first two stanzas (verses 1-16), he made a fascinating discovery: Since taking on this challenge, I have been tempted more than usual. Its almost as if the devil is now working overtime since he started memorizing Gods Word. As I pondered this fact, something Martin Luther said floated into my mind. Three things are necessary, he said, to make a true minister of God: prayer, meditation and temptation. Prayer and meditation are easy enough to understand. When we pray, we are talking to God. When we meditate on Gods Word, God is talking to us. How does temptation fit into that picture? Temptation is necessary because no one can become a truly mature Christian without facing many trials. There is no shortcut to spiritual growth. If it pleased the Father that his own Son should learn obedience through the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:9), how can we expect to become like Christ unless we too go through the fires of personal affliction? I find this a comforting thought because it means that in those moments when I feel like quitting or lashing out or compromising or running away, when the fire seems hot in my personal furnace, Jesus knows from personal experience what I am going through. At this point the thoughtful reader may notice that I am not making any big difference between a testing of my faith and a temptation to sin. The line between the two is actually very thin. The same event may be a test or a temptation depending on how I respond. It may lead me to a struggle that results in growth or, if I go another direction, I may find myself in the valley of iniquity. God knows this, and so does the devil. And thats why any new effort to move forward spiritually is almost always met with new temptations. Satan will not stand idly by when we make a firm commitment to grow in Gods Word. Make no mistake. The devil wants you to watch more TV this year. He would much prefer that teenagers spend more time playing video games and less time reading the Word. He knows that every moment we spend reading or memorizing the Bible leads us away from his infernal control. And he wont give up without a fight. No pain, no gain. Do you want to grow in 2002? Keep reading. Keep memorizing. Extra temptation is a positive sign that youre on the right track.
© Keep Believing Ministries
Permissions and restrictions: You are permitted and encouraged to use and distribute the content on Keep Believing Ministries free of charge. If you choose to publish excerpts from a sermon or article, please provide a link or attibution back to KeepBelieving.com’s version of this article. The content of KeepBelieving.com must not be redistributed at a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.
If you wish to support Keep Believing Ministries, your prayers and donations are appreciated, and further enable this worldwide ministry to distribute all materials free of charge.