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Suffering Temptation

Because he himself [Jesus] suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18 NIV
Temptation results in suffering when we don’t give in to it. Why? I am tempted when something forbidden seems to be very attractive and desirable to me; when it appears to meet my legitimate needs. When I say no to temptation, I face the possibility that my need won’t be met and that I am losing out on pleasure I would really like to have. Doing without produces pain which leads to suffering.

An extreme example of this can be seen from the martyrs. Their temptation was to avoid torture and/or death. All they had to do was renounce Jesus in some form or another. When they refused to give in to the temptation, their suffering was extreme. But what about the sorts of temptations we have here in North America?

Do I suffer when I refuse to berate the person who has just done something really dumb and annoying? It may not be as painful as being burned in a fire but yes! my suffering comes from accepting the person’s behaviour and perhaps being perceived as a wimp by those around me.

Did I suffer when I chose to walk away from the woman I loved so that I could remain faithful to my husband and God? Very much so! The pain of separation seemed excruciating.

Jesus suffered when he was tempted and refused to give in and because of this he understands the pain I face when I choose to walk in obedience instead of giving in to my sinful desires. He understands and is able to help me. He can help you too.

Thank you, Jesus, for being willing to suffer in the same ways we must when we choose to follow you. Sometimes the pain of obedience seems too much to bear and I find ways to justify what temptation is screaming at me to give in to. Help me to remain steadfast, to choose your ways even when it means giving up what I want, even when it seems that the need I’m feeling may never be met. Give me the courage to endure the pain regardless of the severity. Help me to remember that if I cannot be faithful to you in little things, I will be unable to be faithful to you in the bigger things. I love you and want to honour you in every way.

Comments

Stacy said…
Interesting thoughts.
Thanks for the compliments on the purses. I make custom ones to sell if you're interested.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …