Through Trials of Temptation…
This post is going to be a little different than what I usually write about. I’m not giving you tips on how to live a good life, telling you what to eat, or what make-up products to use. I’m hoping that today we can have a heart-to-heart conversation about a problem that is very real and persistent in the lives of so many people. I prayed a lot before I opened my computer to start writing this. And I pray that you will open up your soul to receive the message I’m going to attempt to convey here.
The only resource I’m using today in this post is my Bible. I want this to speak to everyone reading this, but specifically the young people here like me, who may be struggling with this issue right at this moment. There are so many issues going on in our world today that people my age are struggling with and maybe they don’t have anyone to tell them these stories, or maybe they don’t know Jesus at all. Whatever the case may be, I want this to speak to them.
Eve was the first human to struggle with this. God had given her and Adam one simple rule to follow. That rule was that they could eat from any tree in the garden of Eden, all except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16). So God told Adam that he could have the fruit from ANY tree he wanted except for that specific tree, or if they did then they would certainly die. He had a lot of options in the garden for food. But one day after Eve was created from Adam’s rib, a serpent came along and asked if she and Adam were allowed to eat fruit from the garden. Eve told the serpent what God had said. The serpent told Eve that they would not die if they ate the fruit, but that they would be like God and know good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5).
So here she was, in the middle of the garden talking to this serpent, Eve probably didn’t know what to do. She could just ignore the temptation and follow the rule God had given her and Adam, or she could eat the fruit like the serpent told her to do. Well, Eve gave in and ate the fruit. After she ate some herself, she gave some to Adam (and here we also see Adam being tempted by his wife, Eve) who also ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. This is where sin first began.
Once they had eaten the fruit, what happened next? Did they die immediately like God said they would? No, but as you can imagine, God wasn’t so happy. The first humans had disobeyed him and He decided they must be punishment. His punishment for man and woman was not death as He had first said, but He punished them by giving them physical and emotional pain that would affect them later in life (Genesis 3:14-19).
Because Eve gave into temptation, sin entered the world. If Eve hadn’t given into the temptation and didn’t eat from the forbidden tree, could you imagine what our world would be like? No one would make mistakes, no one would make bad choices, there would be no such thing as a crime, everything would be perfect. Not exactly. Because when we sin, we learn from those mistakes and those lessons make us wiser for the future.
Let’s take a look at another example from God’s word. This time we’re in Matthew chapter 4, during the time when Jesus was fasting for 40 days. He was led into the wilderness by Satan, who told Him to make stones into bread (Matthew 4:3-4). Jesus resisted, only to be tempted again by Satan to throw Himself off of a high point on a temple (Matthew 4:5-7). Again, Jesus resisted. After that, Satan told Him to worship him and he would give Jesus kingdoms and thrones. By this time, Jesus had had enough and sent the devil away.
Jesus did not give into the temptation. Keep in mind, He was also fasting so He was probably very hungry. But Jesus does not give into any kind of temptations. He is the example we should live by each time we are tempted by something in our lives. We cannot resist temptation as easily as Jesus, because we are only human and not perfect. But we can surround ourselves with positive people and influences that will help us make good decisions.
If you’ve ever been in a tempting situation, you know it’s not so easy to say no. In fact, it will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. But the one thing you can do is in that moment, just pray and ask God for His guidance on what you should do. Then all you have to do is ask yourself, “would Jesus do this?” That should help you and give you all the wisdom you need to make the best choice.
Adam and Eve brought sin into this world, but you always have a choice to sin. We are not perfect and will always make mistakes, but luckily we have a forgiving father in Heaven who does not judge us by our past mistakes and loves us even when we do wrong. There is nothing greater than His love and grace and He is with us in every situation we face.