Fighting temptation

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

Scripture: “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews: 2,18)


"The devil tempted Christ in the desert, on the mountain, and in the Holy City. Likewise, temptation awaits us everywhere: in society, in solitude, in church and outside of church. We cannot avoid it, but we must fight it, and we will emerge from this struggle with renewed energy which will strengthen our faith.

“Temptation sent by God for a good purpose purifies our soul like fire purifies gold. But in order to withstand it we must firmly plant ourselves on the unshakable ground of faith and permit it to penetrate deeply into our soul. A young tree that has not had time to establish deep roots will hardly be able to withstand such a storm. But do not be overly sad and do not complain when you are buffeted by temptations. The thought of the forty-day temptation of Christ will strengthen you in your struggle. When everything around you seems to be against you, when all your efforts are in vain and, debilitated by the struggle, you cannot find comfort anywhere, – just look upon the Savior in the desert. Arm yourself with the word of God which Christ used against Satan, and it will protect you from all doubts and temptations.”

Lewis writes the following about temptation in Mere Christianity, Part III, chap.11:

“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means – the only complete realist”.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

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