Temptation comes to all of us, even Jesus! Our response to temptation varies widely, based on not just the situation, but also on our mental, physical, and emotional state.
I received a “thank you but you will not be considered for this job” email, and while I was disappointed, my initial reaction was appreciation for knowing the status. It was in the afternoon when I received the email and I continued working at my current job. Later that day, I realized that I felt like I had been punched in the gut; it was then I realized just how disappointed I was and how much I wanted that position. I tried not to wonder what it was that put me in their ‘no’ pile. By the end of the evening, I had tears streaming down my face, feeling like I had been rejected by everyone, and that no one wanted me. I tried thinking that God has better plans for me. Since I’ve been praying for quite some time about a new job, my perseverance is being sorely tested. It’s in this type of circumstance that the “enemy” can maximize the anxiety and distress.
It can be easy to shrug off Jesus’ temptations saying that because He is God, He could respond and wouldn’t give in. However, Jesus was also fully human, and after spending 40 days and nights fasting, even Matthew’s gospel indicates He was hungry (Matt 4:2). I can’t imagine how hard it was for Jesus not to turn the stones into bread. We will never know the strength of Jesus to deny the tempter in that moment. Yet when we are in a moment of temptation, Jesus can completely understand how we’re feeling, and what we’re thinking; He walks by our side when we face these challenges, not once, not twice, but three times in succession.
When I realized all the negative thoughts swirling through my brain, I knew they had to be stopped, but I knew I was too weary from a full day of work to battle it myself. I had to seek help from Jesus, to give Him all the questions I have for my life, and to ask Him to lead me in doing the Father’s will, both in my work life and my home life. If I am meant to be in the job I’m in now, then help me to do it to the best of my abilities. If He wants to bless me with a position that I can be happier in, that’s fine too. But I will not dwell in a negative mindset, believing the worst of myself because that would be a win for the tempter. I’m sure it won’t be the last time this will occur, but I hope in future times I can realize what is happening so that I can reach out to Jesus for help.