If you are intentionally living a missional life that brightly shines the Light of Christ in your part of this dark world then you know that life can be filled with lots of temptations. In this post I want to share with you 3 ways that Jesus can help you when you are in the midst of temptation and more importantly after you have given into temptation. The key all victory, when it comes to temptation, is Jesus!
"Therefore, since we have a great hight priest who has gone through the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
Jesus Is Able To Help Us By:
I. Being Our Advocate!
The first thing we see in the passage of scripture from the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is our great high priest. The job of a high priest is to represent the people he is in charge over before God himself. He is to make petitions and request to God on behalf of the people. He is to ask God to be faithful to meet the needs of the people.
In this verse we see that it is Jesus, who is a our high priest, is the one who represents us before God the Father, and it is Jesus who is constantly interceding on our behalf. In other words Jesus is constantly praying for you and asking God to help you and especially during your times of temptations and spiritual warfare.
Listen to what Jesus tells the Apostle Peter on the night that Jesus is to be arrested.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31,32 (NIV)
Isn't that so cool? Jesus knows that Peter is about to go through the biggest temptation of his life. He is going to be tempted that he ever knew Jesus and was going to fail at it miserably BUT Jesus has prayed for him. He prayed to God the Father that Peter's faith would not fail, that Peter would recover from his failure and that Peter would be able to strengthen others even after he fails in his temptation.
Do you understand this? This is such an important Biblical principle to get! Jesus is in Heaven praying for you too! He's asking God to help you overcome temptations but just as important He is asking God to strengthen you when you blow it by giving into the temptation and to give you opportunities to be used once again to encourage others afterwards.
ISN'T THAT SO ENCOURAGING FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT AS YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THIS LIFE ON MISSION WITH CHRIST, THAT CHRIST HAS GOT YOUR BACK AND IS IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD THE FATHER PRAYING FOR YOU. I KNOW IT IS FOR ME!
II. Empathizing With Us!
The next thing that we see on how Jesus can help us during our times of temptation is the fact that he is able to empathized with us. In this verse we read that Jesus has been tempted in every way! Satan has given Jesus his best shot and Jesus was able to take it and overcome it. Because Jesus has tempted in every way we are tempted he understands the struggle, the difficulty and hardship that is associate with being tempted. So, when Christ is praying for us he does it with passion, conviction and understanding. From experience Jesus is able to share with God the Father just how very hard it is when temptation hits.
Because Jesus understands he is able to comfort us like one who has been there. His tender touch, his loving eyes the sound of his compassionate voice is able to be there to encourage us because he can relate to what you are going through.
III. Forgiving Us!
I love the last part of this verse. We are encouraged to to approach God's thrown of grace with confidence. We don't need to be shy. We don't need to be reluctant. Because Jesus is our High Priest we are to come before the thrown of grace with CONFIDENCE. I love the way this verse describes God's thrown! It;s called the Thrown of Grace! It is at the Thrown of God we find God's grace - God's unmerited favor! Forgiveness is always found at God's thrown. And in order to experience God's grace you must be willing to approach God's thrown. You can never experience God's grace hiding from Him, running from Him, or just avoiding Him. The people who experience God's grace are those who have come before his thrown in all their sinfulness pleading to him.
And what are they pleading for? MERCY & GRACE! When we stop the running and come before God in complete humility and begging for his forgiveness we are promised to experience two things:
- God's mercy: That's not getting what you deserve. Because of your sin you deserve to go to hell but when we come asking for God's help he removes the consequences of our sin from us.
- God's grace: God not only doesn't give us what we deserve but then he gives us what we don't deserve. That's grace: Getting what you don't deserve. Instead of getting hell which we deserve God gives us eternal life which we don't deserve.
And that is the confidence we are to approach God's thrown. Confident that because Jesus is our High Priest constantly being our advocate before God the Father that when we come to him we will receive both mercy and grace.