Satan loves to tempt. It’s what he does best. The devil was bold enough to tempt Jesus, and he’s more than happy to tempt you: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
I know that those of us who suffer from chronic illnesses are no more susceptible to temptation than others. However, we do face temptations, while not at all unique to us, easily come to us in our illness. In today’s post, I want to share with you what some of those temptations are.
Missing the Assembly
God expects us to worship Him: “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). God is worthy of my worship:
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
However, worship is difficult for me. Sundays not only wear me out physically, but they bring absolutely excruciating pain. It would be easy for me to find excuses to miss the assembly, but I dare not miss the worship of God if I am at all able to be with the saints.
God’s people are to live without murmuring and complaining: The Israelites grumbled against Moses’ leadership and “were destroyed by the Destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10; Numbers 14). God still expects His people to live without grumbling, murmuring, and complaining: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Philippians 2:14).
It’s easy to murmur and complain when you have a chronic illness: “No one understands what it’s like;” “I don’t feel good;” “I wish I could do more.” I’m not saying in any way that it’s wrong to say such things; I say them myself. Yet, constant complaining and whining goes against what we are to be as the people of God.
We, as children of God, must treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve; all people, after all, bear the image of God. The “Golden Rule” goes against rudeness: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
I know I can’t speak for you, but I find it extremely difficult to be kind when I’m in pain. It’s hard to be kind when I’m struggling to walk on my cane and someone cuts in front of me. It’s hard to be kind when I’m in my wheelchair and people simply walk over me and pretend that I’m not there. But, God has called me to kindness.
Christians are servants; that’s what Jesus taught: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28). Selfishness has no place in the church of God: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
There are times I must be served: Being pushed in the wheelchair or having my plate filled at a buffet. It’s easy to fall into a trap where I think about myself and not others. Such is far from a Christian attitude; even with my disability, I must be a servant.
While we all suffer with temptation, the good news is that God will bless us in temptation: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). There’s more good news – As I resist Satan, he will flee from me: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Resist the devil, stand strong in the faith, and show your heavenly Father living in you.