Tempted as we are, yet without sin
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
A few weeks ago, our family were all in a time of stress and challenge. Just normal life stuff, but the stressful kind! I shared with our kids that it is really helpful for me, when I am facing stressors or temptations, to slow down and think that Jesus himself faced the exact same kinds of temptations I face, and that He is understanding and kind to me. No matter what kind of temptations I am currently facing–fear, anxiety, self-pity, anger, lust, pride, distraction–Jesus was tempted “in every respect as we are.”
So, this is the kind of thing we can pray: “Jesus, right now I am feeling really anxious. I’m having trouble focusing on anything else because of this nervousness. I know that when you were on earth, you were tempted to be anxious, too! You know what I’m feeling. And yet you never gave in and sinned in anxiety. You always found a way to trust your Father and rely on the Spirit. And I can do that too, because You are helping me! And to think that now, your temptations are passed and over. You have passed through the heavens to sit with your Father on the throne! And that is my destiny–to be with you where you are, when all my struggles and temptations are over, just like yours are now. Help me to trust your love and your help today. Thank you for telling me to draw near to you, knowing that what I will find is not shame or condemnation, but your mercy and your grace.”
Of course, I don’t always remember to pray this way. But, whenever I read these verses, I gain confidence that this is exactly how I am to face temptations and find the goodness of God to forgive me and to help me each day. I hope these verses give you confidence to draw close to God for his love and help today!
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