Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
It reaches out to us from all corners of society. Its tentacles seek to wrap themselves around us in the pressures of a work day. They grasp for us in the chaos of a busy home. They call to us from billboards and TV commercials, trying to seduce us to their will.
With temptations all around us, how are we going to overcome this unending battle? There are three things in our verses today that I want you to notice, which, as we apply them to our lives, will help us overcome temptations.
First, we are blessed-literally happy-when we endure temptation. James is saying that there is a blessing, even in this earthly life, for anyone who says no when temptation knocks on their door. In other words, there is a goody for not giving in. For keeping yourself apart from the world, for staying different than everyone else-God promises a blessing.
Second, God promises to bless those who overcome with a crown of life. Think about that one-a crown that is way better than one made of gold and precious stones; we will be crowned with life!
Third, it is a fact that temptation is a foe we can conquer. We do not have to remain subject to it or put up with its seducing voice. We can overcome! James would not have written that we will be blessed for enduring temptation if we were not able to do it by the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ!
This last truth is one we really need to get inside our hearts. We cannot allow ourselves to cop out and say, Well, I just couldn't hold up. The devil made me do it. It's not my fault; I'm just not strong enough.
No, you are strong enough, and you can endure temptation. And you will endure it as you hide yourself in Jesus' death and in the power of His resurrected life. Run from temptation; flee from it! But flee into the cross of Jesus where temptation loses its power. Hide yourself in Jesus' victory and you will be victorious, too.
Do this, and you, dear overcomer, will be blessed as you endure temptation.
Prayer Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your victory over temptation and sin! I run to You and ask You to help me overcome all the temptations that come against me every day. I know that with Your help, I will endure temptation and receive Your promised blessing!