Dealing with Temptation

Thomas Brooks, a Puritan pastor, counsels believers to confront all temptations (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the boastful pride of life) with the words of the Psalmist: “The LORD is my portion” (16:5; 73:26; 119:57; 142:5).

He exhorts:

Luther counsels every Christian to answer all temptations with the short saying, ‘I am a Christian,’ and I would counsel every Christian to answer all temptations with this short saying, ‘The Lord is my portion.’

O Christian, when Satan or the world shall tempt thee with honors,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion,’
when they shall tempt thee with riches, answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
when they shall tempt thee with preferment,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall tempt thee with the favors of great ones,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
yea and when this persecuting world shall threaten thee with the loss of thy estate, answer ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of thy liberty,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of friends,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;’
and when they shall threaten thee with the loss of life,
answer, ‘the Lord is my portion;.
O sirs! If Satan should come to you with an apple, as once he did to Eve,
tell him the “the Lord is your portion;”
or with a grape, as once he did to Noah,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion;
or with a change of raiment, as once he did to Gehazi,
tell him that ‘the Lord is your portion;
or with a wedge of gold, as once he did to Achan,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion;”
or with a bag of silver, as once he did with Judas,
tell him that “the Lord is your portion.”[1]

[1] Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, vol 2, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh, Scotland: James Nichol, 1666), 114.

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