Friday, October 26, 2007

Suffering When Tempted

"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:17,18

I read these verses earlier this week in my quiet time/devotions. They are obviously jam-packed with meaning on a number of levels. Probably the most important thing in them is the reminder that Jesus Christ came as a propitiation for our sins, taking on the wrath of God that we deserved that we might know peace with God. That is reason to stop and worship! But this week, what God impressed upon my heart were the words "he himself has suffered when tempted." I started thinking about all of the suffering of Christ and let's be honest, there was a lot of suffering in His life, particularly the suffering of His death. The suffering that He endured while tempted was deeper than any suffering I've ever known or will know. As He awaited the cruel death before Him, He prayed to His father, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me." I can't imagine the variety of temptations that He faced in that moment: despair, fear, the desire to run away, etc. He was suffering so much that He sweat drops of blood. Still, Jesus said, "Yet not what I will, but what you will.” He did not give in to those temptations but honored His father.

When I'm tempted to sin by my own desire (James 1:14) I can sometimes think that it is huge suffering to resist. Or when I give in to the sin and later repent, I can think that there was so much suffering involved in turning. But what is my suffering when tempted compared to the suffering of Jesus on my behalf when He was tempted? As I consider His suffering and the ways that He was tempted, I am humbled and put in my place. My sufferings during temptations suddenly do not seem so looming in comparison with His.

May we worship Him with gratitude as we consider how our God was willing to go through extreme suffering and temptation on our behalf. And may that bring us comfort as we go to Him when we're tempted. He is truly able to help.

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4 Responses to “Suffering When Tempted”

  1. Katie,

    Thanks for sharing your helpful perspectives on how the gospel applies in the midst of a trying world.


  2. Katie, This was so encouraging to my soul. Thank you for taking time to share this post. Miss and love you!

  3. Thanks, Jenn. Miss you guys too. :)