How to Overcome Temptations and Trials
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.
1 Peter 1:6
If you are faced with a crisis, you must immediately gird up the loins of your mind. You must not only prepare to release your faith, but you must also prepare to do something mental: to look at the problem with a positive attitude.
How? The first thing that you have to understand is this: manifold temptations, tests, trials, and pressures do not come from God. If you look at it any other way, your mental attitude will be negative. Secondly, manifold temptations, tests, trials, and pressure are not designed by God to perfect you. The Word is the perfect-er of the Church.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16
Get this out of your thinking immediately, “Well, all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose.”
Some say, “Well, that’s what the Bible says.” Yes, but you are taking the scripture out of context. What you are actually saying is, “Come what may, it is of God, and I suppose it is for my good.” You can take scriptures out of their setting and destroy your faith. How can you trust God to deliver you if you think that He is the One Who created your problem?
The proper mental attitude says, “This is not of God; it is Satan who comes immediately to steal the Word from my heart” (Mark 4:14-20). It is Satan who comes to kill, to steal and to destroy (John 10:10). I am girding up the loins of my mind; I am prepared to release faith, to stand strong on the Word, and to approach this problem with a proper mental attitude. I fully expect my God to deliver me.”
Next, you should begin to rejoice and praise God for the victory!
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. And Peter said, Wherein ye greatly rejoice (1 Peter 1:6). Rejoicing absolutely blows the devil’s plan. All Satan can do is make threats. He cannot defeat you if you will not act in fear. When he tries to intimidate you, just stand up and rejoice.
Let’s not get off into false teaching that says, “Praise God for the problem.” No, you do not thank God for the problem. Job 5:22 gives some insight into God’s attitude toward that kind of thinking: At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh. You cannot laugh at a problem until you know what God says about it. God is not telling you to laugh and to rejoice because of the situation, but to rejoice because of the answer to it. The answer can be found in the Word. We read in Habakkuk 3:17, Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.
Many Christians stop reading at this point and begin to identify with failure. But that is not what he is saying. We need to read on. He says, Yet… which means that he is not through talking. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places (vv. 18- 19). This is the proper mental attitude: “Even if these things do happen, it makes no difference. I will rejoice in the Lord. He is my salvation. He will make my feet like hind’s feet, and I will jump right over the problem.”
You do not overcome destruction and famine by isolating yourself from the problem and getting over into some kind of fantasy land pretending that the problem doesn’t exist. You face the truth. Jesus said thy word is truth (John 17:17). The word truth means the highest form of reality that exists. It is not what somebody else says about it. God’s Word is truth, and He said, Thou shalt laugh at famine and destruction. When you rejoice in the Lord, He becomes your strength. He will make your feet like hind’s feet, and He will make you walk in high places. Because you have the assurance that even though the pressure is on you, you can laugh at destruction and famine. You can laugh when it looks as though things are not working. You can rejoice in the Lord because He is your strength.
Remember in the book of Job that Satan came to destroy everything Job owed. God was the One Who made him wealthy. Job was the richest man in all of the East. If you read the entire book, you know that Job was blessed with two times everything that he lost. God was talking to Job when He said, Thou shalt laugh at famine and destruction. Many people think God brought these problems on Job, but He didn’t. God told him how to overcome them.
To be honest, you will never be able to laugh and rejoice in the face of a crisis until you learn to gird up the loins of your mind. You cannot gird up the loins of your mind until you know what the Word says concerning your problems. Once you know what the Word says, you can offer the sacrifice of joy even in the midst of adversity.
Joy brings laughter, but if you do not know what the Word says about joy, you will never be able to experience it.
Think of a situation that you are facing at the present time – something that is most difficult. Perhaps you are believing God for finances or for healing or for deliverance from a severe problem. Stop right now and begin to offer the sacrifice of joy. NOW, laugh, laugh, LAUGH! If you have a problem laughing that is a good indication that you have not been trained to laugh at destruction and famine. You have been trained, perhaps, to sit down and cry and to indulge in self-pity. You may be crying out for someone to sympathize with you. SYMPATHY NEVER FINDS A SOLUTION. SYMPATHY ONLY SEES THE PROBLEM AS HOPELESS. Jesus did not move in sympathy. He moved with compassion. COMPASSION FINDS THE ANSWER AND ACTS.
Once you have trained yourself to laugh at destruction and famine, you will have the assurance in your heart that regardless of what Satan attempts to do, you can say, “God is my strength, and He makes my feet like hind’s feet. This is just another opportunity to prove that Jesus is Lord and the Word of God works.”
I had to train myself to have a right mental attitude. Now when pressure comes, I just join with God and laugh at what the devil tries to do. Did you know that God is laughing at Satan? Well, He is. Read Psalm 2:4: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh. Also Psalm 37:13 says, The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
It is absolutely enjoyable to learn to laugh at defeat. Someone might say, “Is that all you do, just laugh?” No, I act on the Word as the Spirit of God shows me how, and then I stand fast until I win. I have the opportunity to hear Satan’s negative thoughts. Sometimes the thought comes to my mind, “You know you will never have the money that you need.” When that thought comes, I can either cast it down or dwell upon it. If I start dwelling on it, Satan will paint the most awful picture of failure that you can imagine. At that moment however, I begin to laugh at the devil. I have learned to be quick about this. I just laugh and laugh and continually speak the Word of God.
The devil says, “What are you laughing about? You must not have heard me.” I say, “Oh, yes, I heard you, and that is exactly what I am laughing at. You keep telling me that I cannot win, but God keeps telling me that I can. Who would you believe?” I have learned that Satan’s lies cannot come to pass in my life unless I act on them through fear.
Isaiah 64:5 says, Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness. When you learn to follow these instructions, God promises that He will meet you. Proverbs 17:22 says, A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
You can laugh at the signs of destruction. God will meet them that rejoice. Learning to laugh will do you good. Rejoicing and laughing at the problem will help you to get your mind off the problem and on the Word. You can rejoice in the face of that problem. You can approach it with faith in your heart and assurance from the Word that God is going to get involved in this with you, and the outcome will be victory!
The Bible says that I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. Do you know what Jesus’ attitude is? He is fully expecting His enemies to be made His footstool. He is far above all principalities, might, dominion, and every name that is named. The Bible says that God sits on His throne and laughs at His enemies. God laughs at Satan. Well, I am seated with Them, and I can expect the same results. That’s why I can laugh.
When you start laughing with somebody, have you ever noticed how friendly you become? You do not stand far off from one another. The first thing you know, you are embracing one another and patting each other on the back and saying, “That is the funniest thing that I have ever seen!”
When God said, I will meet him that rejoices, He was saying, I will get in there and join you in your laughter. You and God can have a good laugh about the devil.
You owe it to yourself to become established in God’s Word. Find out what the Word says about every situation in your life. Then you will have the assurance that God will deliver you from every problem. As this becomes a reality in your heart, regardless of what Satan tries to do, joy will rise up on the inside. He will make your feet like hind’s feet. He will strengthen you, and there is nothing that Satan can do to shake you.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4). REJOICE! God will meet you. REJOICE! Get your mind off the problem and on the ANSWER. Gird up the loins of your mind. The battle is the Lord’s and the victory is yours.