In this post, I want to begin by focusing on Hebrews 4:15-16. The verses say,
15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
These verses have several nuggets. Notice that verse 15 tells us that Jesus Christ was “tempted in every way.” Pause for a moment and think about that. Really, THINK about it. If there is a sin that you might be struggling with currently, HE OVERCAME it. Because we know Jesus is the only one who has lived on this earth and never sinned, he is the perfect one to lean on during those tempting moments.
Why can we turn to Jesus? The beginning of verse 15 highlights that Jesus is able to “empathize with our weaknesses.” Isn’t it wonderful to know this? God does not shame us for being tempted again by the same thing we were tempted with the week before and the week before that. Instead, he understands because Jesus experienced temptations while on this earth.
If you are having trouble embracing that we can turn to Jesus, let me give an example. Say you were having troubles in your new marriage and you needed advice on how to improve your marriage. Whom would you seek that advice from? Would you go to a single person, a fellow newlywed or someone who has been married ten plus years longer than you have? I don’t know what your answer is, but I would go to the couple married over ten years. The reason is that couple would have experienced what I would be currently experiencing; experiences like God having shown them ways to be selfless in their marriage, and God having taught them how to compromise with their spouse. Arguably, most importantly, the experienced married couple can offer wisdom that helps ensure that any new marriage avoid some of the pitfalls they may have encountered.
Since we are more inclined to turn to someone and LISTEN to someone who has been where we are now, why would we not turn to Jesus? Where we are weak He (God/Jesus/Holy Spirit) gives us the power to overcome. Therefore, what ways does God help us in conquering those moments of temptation? A perfect illustration is found in Matthew 4:1-11. Here is what it says:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Did you see it? Three times the enemy, Satan, tried to get Jesus to stray, and three times Jesus quoted SCRIPTURE that combatted how he was being tempted. If you struggle with doubt, which is something that I too have struggled with, you need to have a scripture that defeats those thoughts. And don’t hesitate to personalize it to what you are going through!
One that I’ve used for doubt is Psalm 46:1. Here is the verse:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
And, this is how I personalized it:
“Father God, I pray that during moments of doubt, uncertainty and confusion that I remember and rest in knowing that you are my refuge and my strength, you are an ever-present help always.”
Hebrews 4:16 tells us that “[we can] approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” God’s Word is a crucial component of that help. Therefore, let us use God’s Word as a weapon against the enemy.