As God's messenger to humankind, Jesus experienced the fullness of human life, including conflict and temptation.
We also experience life's challenges as we grow from childhood to maturity. We discover that life is complicated and our greatest gifts can also be sources of our greatest temptations.
Spiritual leaders remind us that the closer we come to experiencing God's holy adventure, the more obvious our imperfections become to us. As imperfect, evolving, and inspired children of God, we are constantly discovering that as we embrace greater complexity and creativity, we also experience greater challenge and temptation. These temptations are the natural result of our personal growth and our openness to growing in stature and vocation.
Jesus experienced transformation as he heard the words at his baptism: You are my beloved Son. Then he was driven into the wilderness for 40 days to experience testing and temptation. He had to confront the totality of what it means to be human. Jesus faced the temptations of comfort, power, and safety and conquers the challenges presented to him. Jesus shows us the spiritual maturity as he discovered divine wisdom.
Our own struggles in life may seem complex but God gives us strength and grace to know that we do not face them alone. We find healing, direction, and wholeness amid temptations by praying about them. When we open our lives up to God's care, we place our struggles with the one who understands and cares for us like a best friend would do. God gives us wisdom, love, and light to guide us to do what is best for ourselves and others.
Think of these affirmations when you are faced with struggles and temptations:
God is with me in every struggle.
God guides me during my times of temptation.
I pray about my temptations and listen for God's guidance.
In situations of challenge, I seek God's guidance and follow God's wisdom.
O Holy God, who knows me better than I know myself, I thank you for your guiding presence in my life. Lure me toward wholeness. Inspire me to face the heights and depths of life, to explore all that I am in its ambiguity. Let your light of truth shine a light on all that I am and bring forth fruits of the Spirit from within my temptations. In the name of the Healer, Jesus. Amen.
(Ideas taken from: Holy Adventure by Bruce G. Epperly.