Recent question from a friend of mine:

Recently, I have been undergoing some temptations and trials that God has pointed out to me in my life. James said, “Consider it pure joy my friends, when you face trials and temptations of many kinds…” and because God spoke to my heart in such a deep way, I do feel overjoyed! I’m happy and praising God because he has molded my heart to desire what he desires.

However, while being overjoyed from having God speak to me, I am also depressed and afraid for my future. When I am tempted or am dealing with sin in my life, I am afraid that it will be forever or long term. “What if I give into my temptation?” “What if I am not capable enough to conquer my sin?” “What if I sin and do not repent?”

I understand that those are some big questions I’ve been thinking about, but I haven’t talked to anyone about this, and when I worry, my thoughts just get out of control! Ahh! Do you have any advice for me going and dealing with temptation? Or any bible verses that stand out to you?

Thanks so much!

My Response:

WOW thank you SO MUCH for sharing this with me…it means so much!

I am so proud of you!

You are loved by JESUS!

Here are some Bible verses/Truths for you to soak in!

1. Philippians 1:6 NIV: “Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

In other words, God is in charge of you becoming more and more like Jesus (sanctification)–God WILL complete you, His masterpiece! It will take your entire life on earth, but He WILL help you to overcome whatever difficulties you are facing, whatever sins you are having trouble mastering. This verse also reminds us that we will NOT deal with sin/temptation forever; only for the very short time that we are on earth.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

God will ALWAYS provide ways for us to endure/resist temptation. Sometimes it seems as if we are “painted into a corner” and all we can do is sin, but God always provides a way for us to meet our needs in righteous/holy ways instead of sinful/destructive ways. In Luke 4:1-13 Jesus was tempted by the devil himself; when the devil used lies to try and get Jesus to sin (just as the devil used lies to try and get Adam & Eve to sin), Jesus blocked the lies by quoting the Truth of the Bible. We can do the same when we start to believe lies (e.g. “you DESERVE to have a little sinful fun” or “sin isn’t that bad” or “God doesn’t say that this is wrong” etc.).

3. 1 John 1:9 NIV: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

What a promise! Even though we do sin, He will forgive us EVERY TIME we confess to Him and will over time purify (clean) us from the filthiness of our sin! What a promise!

4. Romans 8:31-39 (please click HERE).

You are NOT capable enough to conquer your sin…on your own. BUT JESUS IS! We don’t have to be perfect because He was perfect for us! What GRACE! But we are victorious–we are WINNERS!–because Jesus is victorious, because HE is The Winner. That takes a lot of the pressure off us to HAVE to be perfect. That doesn’t mean that we should just “give in” to sin or stop fighting against it; but it does tell us that IF we fall into sin Jesus’ perfect life and death covers over ALL of our sins (it’s like walking on a tightrope but having a PERFECT safety net beneath you that is guaranteed to protect you if you fall).

5. Hebrews 7:27 NIV: “[Jesus] sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered himself.”

When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, His death and return to life covered ALL of your sins–past, present, and future. You do not need to individually confess every sin–that would be impossible because we sin too much! So you can rest assured that you are totally forgiven! WHat an amazing Savior and God!

I hope this is helpful, my friend–please let me know if it is not or if it creates new questions. I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!