Temptation makes us long for the place where all temptations have ceased. We know that in this life we will face unending waves of temptation, but in the life to come, we will be free!
Temptation is a universal experience. If Jesus himself did not escape it, we can be certain that we will not either. It can be difficult to see any good in temptation, yet we know that God has promised to work all things for our good—even temptation. Thomas Watson addresses this in his book All Things for Good, and offers nine ways that temptation works for our good.
Temptation works for good when it sends the soul to prayer. Quite simply, temptation motivates us to pray to God against that temptation. Not only that, but more temptation generates more prayer. “The more furiously Satan tempts, the more fervently the saint prays.” Without temptation we might not express our reliance upon God through prayer.
Temptation works for good when it motivates us to battle sin. As we are tempted, we battle hard against the temptation and the sin behind it. In this way God works the good of sanctification through temptation, not apart from it. “That temptation which the devil uses as a spur to sin, God makes a bridle to keep back a Christian from it.”
Temptation works for good when it promotes humility. This was Paul’s experience as he battled his “thorn in the flesh.” He knew that this difficulty had been given to prevent him from growing in pride. “Better is that temptation which humbles me, than that duty which makes me proud.”