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In the Wilderness

Today’s Reflection

JESUS’ EXPERIENCE in the wilderness (see Luke 4:1) reminds us that temptation is not a sin. Additionally, Jesus is not surprised or shocked by our temptations. However sinful they may seem to us, he knows how it feels to be tempted. Admitting our temptations to Jesus may be the most difficult part of our spiritual journey. We would rather see ourselves as virtuous and good, but this denial is not helpful to us in the long run. When we refuse to admit our temptations—our jealousy, our greed, our cowardice, and so on—our shame and guilt can cause us misery. Instead, let’s share our temptations with Jesus—and perhaps also with a trusted friend, mentor, or counselor—so that he will provide us with the grace we need to overcome.

—Trevor Hudson, Anthony Egan, SJ, and Russell Pollitt, SJ
Divine Friendship: Reflections for Lent

From page 19 of Divine Friendship: Reflections for Lent by Trevor Hudson, Anthony Egan, SJ, and Russell Pollitt, SJ. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What temptations are you facing today? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
—James 1:12

Prayer for the Week

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Are you looking for Lenten resources? Divine Friendship: Reflections for Lent reminds us that God deeply desires friendship with us. During the month of February, Daily Reflections readers will receive a 30% discount when buying Divine Friendship from The Upper Room Bookstore. Visit our store this month, and use the following promo code when you check out: REFLECT30

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill February 16, 2019, 5:36 am

    I believe I mentioned here a few weeks ago – a temptation, which I allowed to become a sin – wanting to be right, wanting things to be logical as far as my thoughts on mom, her care, etc. It was so freeing to lay that down at the foot of the cross. Of course, before I know it, I have picked it back up. Back to the cross I return. Even the awareness is freeing, a sure movement of the Holy Spirit. Father – continue to reveal to me things that need addressed, laid down in Your sure pool of forgiveness and mercy.
    I am deeply touched by your steady prayers, UR family. So needed, so treasured.

  • Rusty February 16, 2019, 7:04 am

    Thank you Jill. What you point out today, about setting temptation and the sin that follows aside, and then picking at right back up again a short while later, strikes a chord with me. How often in my daily morning confession prayer have I prayed for forgiveness after having had less than compassionate thoughts about people and complained to God in prayer saying something like, “Why doesn’t that person change? When are they going to get it?”

    Jesus is always compassionate to me in these instances and gently reminds me to pray for that person, not to complain about that person. And still more caring toward me, he reminds me I can always pray what is on my mind to him – he knows it anyway – but why not use this time of prayer to help myself grow and try to develop new habits of prayer for others first (before allowing my thoughts go to complaining)?

    Trevor Hudson is so right about the misery that ensues when we don’t admit our temptation – and I would add, our tendencies. This is very much the first step toward repenting. Thank you, Jill, and Trevor, for helping me see this more clearly today.

    Praise you and thank you, Jesus.

    Jill, you are a comfort to your family in these difficult days. I know it, because you are a comfort to us.

  • Julie February 16, 2019, 8:28 am

    Ah yes, temptation and tendencies as well as bad habits, so many avenues the Devil provides for sin. I am guilty of so many. Thank you Rusty and Jill for your examples of repentance for me to humbly emulate. I also tend to complain and see people in a less than favorable light at times. I need to have a converstion with the Lord regarding this.
    So very good to hear from Jill. How thoughtful of her to check in with us despite her current situation. Prayers continue for Gloria, Jill, Becky and Larry. May all be strong together and may the Lord support their family through this trying time. Today’s UR reflection is about those mourning the death of a parent. It was very soothing.
    Prayers for Rusty and his family, April and her family, Lou and her family, Betsy and her family and Andrea and Lowell and their family.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, especially her parents and their health.
    Prayers for Connie and her dreary spirits, may she sunshine today.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Annaliese. May they all be well and God directed. May healing available soon for Annaliese.
    Prayers for Marcy who we miss and worry about.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs dear UR family.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 16, 2019, 5:59 pm

      Thank you Julie for your prayers!

      Yes, as humans, we face all kinds of temptations.

      May we rely upon God and His Word in order to stand firm against all temptations!

      Recently, I’ve started to memorize Bible verses cause I want to be strong and deeply rooted in God’s word.

      Blessings to all and may all be well!

      Prayers for Jill and her family. May God strengthened them and be gracious upon them!

  • Andrea February 16, 2019, 8:49 am

    Yes, sharing temptations with someone wise – a trusted friend, a spiritual director, a wise pastor – someone who will temper our human emotions with compassion. I am sure there is not one soul alive who is exempt from temptation.

    It’s good to hear from Jill, and I keep her, Gloria, Larry, and Becky in my prayers. May Julie be uplifted in her difficult home situation and may the Reynauds symptoms abate. May Robert and Erich be directed to a good home with promising employment opportunities. Prayers for all dear UR friends. May you be uplifted in your time with God. Wishing all a blessed weekend.

  • robert moeller February 16, 2019, 1:06 pm

    Temptations! Where do I begin? This life is full of them, we are yanked and pulled, but often they come as smooth as ice and we are in over our heads in a flash. Thank God that there is a way to resolve them. Well written explanations and examples from Jill, Rusty, Andrea, and Julie. Acknowledging our humanity might be a good starting point.

    Thankful that I will meet my former student, Susan, again today. Erich will have a day off from work tomorrow, he struggles dealing with older rural people. Thankfully he gets tips. Glad that despite the lack of a second keyboard I’m still able to get on the internet.

    Jill, Julie, Rusty, and Andrea, you and your prayer concerns are lifted up.
    Godis with all of you and those you are holding dear in your prayers.
    Thank you for thinking of Erich, Anneliese, and me. There are inklings of progress for our move.

    Thank You, Lord, for this day, UR friends, and church tomorrow.

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