Overcoming Temptations

“Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

The whole world is full of tricks and temptations

There is a story told about St. Anthony of Egypt, a holy man who was born in Egypt in 251. After he had committed his life entirely to Jesus, he went through immense temptations. One day, St. Anthony was travelling through the desert when he found a plate of gold coins in his path. He wondered for a moment why these would be in the desert where no one else travelled. Soon he realized that the devil must have put it there to tempt him. Once he thought this, the plate of coins vanished. Then St. Anthony saw in a vision how the whole world was full of tricks and temptations. He cried to the Lord, “Oh good Lord, who can escape from these snares?” A voice said back to him, “Those who are humble can escape them.”

We are Faced with Daily Temptations

It is natural to be tempted in different ways and we have to acknowledge the fact that they are certain ploys that Satan uses in order to lead God’s children into sin. We are faced with many temptations daily. These could include things like the urge to shout at our parents, use swear words among our friends, watch movies that are bad for us or listen to music at times when we should be praying. My big temptations were that I was addicted to movies and music and I literally lived my life for both of these. I wasted my time watching movies over and over again and I would have earphones plugged into my ears all the time listening to all kinds of worldly music.

The Addiction was Broken but Temptation Remains

But through the School of Evangelization that I attended God gave me complete deliverance from them, and also a special grace to give them up totally for him as a sacrifice. Since then, by the divine grace of Jesus, I have not watched any movies nor listened to any music that the world can offer, other than Gospel music and films about the saints. My problem now is that because I was addicted to that kind of music, it still haunts me as a temptation. Every day the devil plants a thought inside my head to give it another go, listen to it again and he assures me that nothing will happen and that, God won’t mind. But Satan fails miserably each time he tries to inflict this sort of temptation on me because the power of God is greater than anything he possesses. If we rebuke him and all his tricks in the name of Jesus, he will run for his life.

Trust in God

According to St. Francis De Sales, “The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and having little trust in God. Just as a rudderless ship is driven here and there by the waves, so a careless and uncertain man is tempted in many ways.” Scripture reminds us that there is no temptation which we cannot overcome.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” This scripture assures us that God has never allowed us to face any temptations which we cannot overcome and he never will, because of his faithfulness towards his people. Therefore whenever we are faced with temptation, we must remind ourselves that we can defeat it; we can conquer it, because we have Jesus on our side. Consider each temptation as an assessment by God. If you pass the test, a promotion is waiting for you, but if you fail, you’ll be rewarded with nothing.

Separate yourself from bad influences

St. Don Bosco said that “the devil will tempt you with bad books, bad thoughts, or the foul conversation of a companion. When such a person approaches you, say to yourself, this is a minister of Satan. And let these wretches who indulge in foul conversation say to themselves, I am a minister of Satan because I help him ruin souls.” We have to separate ourselves from bad influences and the wrong type of friends who could lead us into sin. This may be the only way that we can keep ourselves holy. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Be vigilant and fight the evil one by striving for purity and holiness.

Put on the Whole Armour of God

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Stand firm and put on the whole armour of God, so that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. I pray in the name of Jesus that everyone who reads this may obtain the grace from the Almighty God to endure all temptations.

Written by Melwin Tomy