Temptations are the thoughts, ideas and circumstances that test our trust in God. They do not always seem like troubles; in fact, many temptations seem attractive. But they are always dangerous; temptations can ruin a personís relationship with God.
Jesusí temptations were ideas that came from the devil himself (Matthew 4:1-10). It seems that the Christians in Corinth had not yet known such severe temptations. Paul described their temptations as Ďhumaní - their temptations came from their own wrong emotions and desires (see also James 1:14).
We should pray that God will help us to deal with temptation (Matthew 6:13). We will certainly have temptations, but we must not let them persuade us to do wrong things. Evil thoughts will enter our minds, but we must not allow them to remain constantly in our thoughts. People will urge us not to obey God, but we must not accept that wicked advice.
God does not cause temptation, but he does allow it. For the devil, the purpose of temptation is to spoil a personís trust in God. But God allows these tests because they prove that a Christianís trust in him is genuine. Also, they have a purpose in the life of a Christian. Whenever a Christian refuses to give in to temptation, that Christian becomes stronger in his relationship with God (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Of course God can forgive people who do wrong things because of temptation (1 John 1:9). But the real solution to temptation is to trust God more. When we do that, God will show us how to deal with our temptations.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.