The Forefathers of Faith Who Overcame Temptation
Satan has been tempting the children of God with all kinds of evil schemes since the creation of the world. We have to overcome all Satan’s temptations to enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.
There are many records of the forefathers of faith who were blessed after overcoming Satan’s temptations. Through their examples, let us learn about the kind of faith that we must have in order to overcome temptation.
After fasting forty days and nights, Jesus was tempted by Satan. Similarly, we will be tempted by Satan because we believe and follow Jesus. First, He was tempted with food, man’s weakest point. Jesus overcame the first temptation with the word of God, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The second temptation was to test God’s power. Jesus resisted Satan by saying, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” The third temptation was when Jesus was offered to be given all the wealth and glory of this earth if He served Satan. Jesus resisted him, saying, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” Jesus overcame these temptations as an example, that we too can and must overcome all kinds of temptations (Mt 4:1–11).
Satan gave many trials to tempt Job, who was faithful to God. Job lost all his wealth and possessions; his children were killed; and his whole body was severely afflicted. Even his wife and his friends encouraged him to “curse God and die.” Despite all this, Job’s faith in God remained firm to the end. After Job overcame all trials, God blessed him greatly. He made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. God blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first (Job 42:10–17).
Joseph was envied by his brothers and was sold as a slave to Egypt, where he underwent a great test. Potiphar (one of Pharaoh’s officials) had a wife, who saw Joseph’s strong and well-built appearance and tempted him every day (Ge 39:7–10). However, by thinking only of God, Joseph was able to overcome and not fall into Satan’s temptation. He then became a minister of Egypt with God’s help and was even able to save his family (Ge 41:40–43).
4. Apostle Paul
When Apostle Paul preached the Gospel, five times he received the forty lashes minus one, once he was stoned, and even spent a night and a day in the open sea. He was in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from his own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness; and in danger from false brothers. He labored and toiled and often went without sleep; he knew hunger and thirst and often went without food; he was cold and naked (2 Co 11:23–28). Even under those hardships, Paul kept his faith and finished his mission of preaching the Gospel to the end, so that he could receive the crown of righteousness stored for him in the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Ti 4:8).
Daniel was threatened to be thrown into the lions’ den if he prayed to anyone other than the king, but as he had always done, he knelt toward Jerusalem and prayed to God three times a day. Eventually, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den for violating the king’s command, but with God’s help, he was protected from the lions and kept safe. This led Daniel to display the power of God to many people. (Da 6:1–28).
6. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
Daniel’s three friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—were threatened that they would be thrown into a blazing furnace unless they fell down and worshiped an image of gold. However, they never worshiped it and stood firm in their faith to the end. Finally, they were thrown into the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual, but the fire did not harm their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed, and there was no smell of fire on them when they came out. This surprised Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, his satraps and royal advisers, resulting in them praising God. Through this Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were elevated to positions of greater authority in the province of Babylon (Da 3:1–30).
Even at this time, there are evil forces that will disturb our faith and hinder us from following God’s will. Let us follow the example of the forefathers of faith in the Bible, who were blessed because they kept their faith through all kinds of tests and difficulties. We must keep our faith in God to the end to receive many blessings and go to Heaven.
- Food for Thought
- Why was Jesus tempted by Satan? How did He overcome temptation?
- What was the blessing Apostle Paul received after he overcame temptation?
- Let us think about how we can overcome temptation, referring to the forefathers of faith.