“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Mark 14:38 (NIV)
Temptation is a double-edged sword. It was the undoing of Judas, but it was the making of Peter. Jesus tells us that some people receive the seed of the Word. They are like plants that spring up quickly, but when temptation comes, they wither. This is what happened to Judas.
Peter talks about how God uses all kinds of trials to prove that your faith is genuine. This will result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Pet. 1:6-7). God will use times of trial and temptation to show what you really are. The time of your greatest testing may prove to be your finest hour.
God can use times of testing and tempting to advance what He is doing in your life. Instead of destroying your faith, hope, and love, testing can be the means by which they are built up.
One of the early church fathers said: “Christ became like us that He might be tempted. We are tempted that we might become like Christ.”
Maybe you are saying, “That’s great… if a person triumphs over temptation. But I failed.” So did Peter. Falling into temptation need not be the end of your usefulness to Jesus.
Jesus prayed for Peter when Peter didn’t pray for himself: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32 NIV). That’s what made it possible for him to be restored. What Christ did for Peter, He is able to do for you.
How might God be using testing in your life right now?