Do you struggle with overcoming temptation to do things you know aren’t good for you? Use these Bible verses about temptation to learn how to resist temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What is Temptation in the Bible?
All of us are tempted every day to give in to behaviors that are wrong.
Whether it’s overeating, overspending, gossip, cheating, or lying, we are tempted. We know these behaviors aren’t good, but at times we feel powerless to stop. At times, do you feel like an outside force is driving you to give in? I certainly do.
Our enemy, Satan, tempts us to engage in sinful behaviors in order to pull us away from God and weaken our faith.
According to Christianity.com, here’s a definition of Biblical temptation:
Temptation is the intentional enticement of a person, by some bait —usually pride, always self-gratifying—to disobey God’s revealed Word.
Temptation has been around since the time of Adam and Eve, when we read in Genesis about how Adam was tempted to eat the fruit from the tree that God forbid him to eat.
Since then, we as humans live in a sinful state. The Bible says we were sinful from the time of conception.
This can feel overwhelming, but we have so much hope! Jesus suffered and died on the cross to take away the penalty of our sin. We have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts, giving us the strength to overcome temptation.
Scriptures on Temptation
Use these Bible verses about resisting temptation in your own life. Grow in understanding of what the Bible says about when you are tempted and how to escape it.
All verses are listed in the EVS, English Standard Version.
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
This is one of the most popular Bible verses about facing temptation, and with good reason. In this verse, God promises that you will not be tempted beyond what you can bear. It doesn’t say that you won’t be tempted. In fact, we know in this life we will face temptation regularly. But we will be able to withstand it with the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love that this section of Scripture gives us the promise that when we face temptation, God will provide the way of escape. When I am being tempted, whether it’s with food and the desire to overeat, temptation to yell at my kids or treat my husband in a way that’s less than loving, I come back to the truth of this passage.
2. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
As a Christian, you will face many trials and temptation sin this world. Sometimes people feel like they must be doing something wrong because they have so much trouble in their life. This isn’t true. In fact, the Bible says we will have troubles and temptations.
Instead, use this truth of this passage to remember that God will be there to comfort you in your trouble, and He will use these tough situations to grow you so that someday you can help other people, too.
My father died unexpectedly when I was young. At the time, it was the toughest thing I had ever experienced. The pain was so real and raw. While it wasn’t easy to live through, now I see that God used that to mold me into a more compassionate and understanding person.
3. Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
When you are facing temptation, your desire might be to do something to deal with the problem. Many times this is a good idea. In fact, one of the Christian weight loss affirmations I use regularly is, “I remove the temptation or remove myself from the situation.”
Yet there are also times when we are tempted that it’s important to stop and be still. Sometimes we are so busy moving and doing that we miss out on hearing God’s voice.
4. James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
The word “steadfast” means “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” Do you stand unwavering during temptations? I admit that there are plenty of times I don’t. My goal is to learn to stand firm no matter the outside circumstance. I know I can’t do this on my own, but only because of God at work in me.
5. 1 Corinthians 6:12
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
1 Corinthians 6:12
I run a Christian weight loss program for women called Faithful Finish Lines together with my business partner, Becky. In the group, Becky once shared that anytime she felt like she needed a substance or situation, it was time to cut back on it. We only want to rely on God.
I thought this was beautiful advice and I think about it often when I find myself saying things like “I need my morning coffee” or “I can’t function without __________.” That doesn’t mean any of these are bad in and of themselves, but my goal is not to rely on them.
6. Ephesians 6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6 tells about how we have the armor of God to protect us during the spiritual battles we face. You have an enemy, Satan, who will do anything He can to pull you away from God. You might not realize it because we don’t see it on the outside, but there is a war going on right now even as you sit reading these words.
While it can be scary to think of Satan waging war against you, remember that you have the ultimate victory in Jesus! The war has already been won when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. God gives you everything you need to win your personal battles, too.
7. Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Some translations of this passage start with the words, “Guard your heart,” and I love that word picture of how it’s important that we protect our mental and emotional lives.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for my thoughts to run to all kinds of crazy places. I worry. I get anxious. I feel depressed. While there’s nothing wrong with feeling the full range of emotions, I don’t want to get stuck in the trap of allowing my emotions to rule over me.
Some of the ways I personally guard my heart are not watching too much news media, surrounding myself with positive people, and spending time daily in God’s Word and prayer. How do you guard your heart? Share about it in the comments below.
8. James 1:3
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Faith growth comes from hard times. Think about people you know who are your mentors or leaders in the faith. They didn’t have any easy life.
God grows and molds your faith because of the challenges you face. Rather than looking at problems as God punishing you, consider that this is how God is growing you. The more you cling to Him during times of trouble, the more you will have the steadfast faith that James talks about in this verse.
9. Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Since losing 100 pounds, Galatians 5:1 is one of my favorite Bible passages because I have seen this truth lived out in my life. When I first started losing weight, I felt restricted. I couldn’t eat the foods I wanted or not in as large of portions I wanted.
But the truth was I was in bondage. Sure, I could binge on junk food, but that also meant living in a heavy body and being sick, tired, and feeling guilt and remorse. Today, I live in food freedom. I exercise and move my body. My energy is fantastic.
It’s like a whole new life – and this is the freedom Christ has to offer each one of us.
10. Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus was tempted in every way when he was on earth. He even spent 40 days fasting and in solitude and then Satan tempted him when he was physically at his weakness. Jesus never gave in to temptation. (See full details of the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, below.)
Moments of temptation can feel incredibly lonely. It feels like “everyone else is indulging.” It’s easy to tell yourself that just one time won’t hurt.
During these challenging times, remember that Jesus was tempted, too, and you aren’t alone.
11. Psalm 25:4
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
This verse gives me so much hope during times of temptation because it reminds me that God has plan for my life. In my moments of weakness, it feels like I’m out here trying to manage things on my own. This verse from Psalm 25 reminds us that God has a plan for each of us.
This verse is also a great encouragement because it reminds us to ask God for wisdom and to “know Your ways”. God promises to give us wisdom when we ask, which will help us resist temptation.
12. Psalm 38:9
O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
The Psalms are a wonderful source of encouragement during times of anxiety, depression, and life’s challenges. David isn’t afraid to pour out his emotions to God. Psalms includes anger, depression, joy, elation, sadness, fear, and so much more.
In this verse we see that the writer is longing and sighing – obviously struggling. God sees our emotions and loves us through each situation.
13. Proverbs 21:21
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honor.
As a Christian, you know that your good works do not earn you eternal life. Salvation comes only from the free gift of Jesus’ work on the cross. We strive to honor God and follow Him not to earn His favor, but out of thanksgiving and loving gratitude.
When we pursue the Godly traits of righteousness and kindness, our lives are filled with purpose and joy. Following God isn’t a burden but instead is life-giving. It’s not always easy, but making the right choices will lead to more joy, peace, and abundance.
14. Romans 6:5-6
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
You are no longer a slave to sin. You have freedom because of Jesus!
Together with my business partner, Becky, I lead a Christian women’s weight loss program called Faithful Finish Lines. We often remind women in our program that victory over their food and weight struggles is already theirs because of Christ.
You can resist temptation because of God’s powerful work in your life.
15. John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The world promises us freedom. The world says to eat what you want, buy what you want, do what you want.
But none of this leads to freedom. In fact, it puts you into bondage like nothing else. Following God’s will can feel difficult in the moment but it leads to true freedom.
16. Psalm 121:7-8
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
This beautiful blessing gives such peace. My husband and I had Psalm 121 read at our wedding as a reminder that God is leading our lives together.
You aren’t alone. God promises to keep you and protect you from all evil.
17. James 1:13
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
This passage gives us an important reminder that God never tempts us. God never desires for you to sin. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you.
God does test you at times in order to grow your faith, but He will never tempt you to sin.
For the next 3 scripture verses about temptation, we will look at the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. This passage gives us the ultimate example of how to handle temptation.
18. Matthew 4:1-4
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Our enemy, Satan (called “the tempter” in this passage) came to Jesus when Jesus was weak and vulnerable. This is an important reminder that Satan might tempt you most when you are tired, hungry, or stressed.
The enemy tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread. Ah, the lure of food! Satan starts by tempting Jesus with a physical, tangible need. Jesus could have worked this miracle, and you might wonder what the harm would be in that.
Most Bible scholars believe this would have been wrong because Jesus never used his power for selfish reasons.
19. Matthew 4:5-7
Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Next, Satan offers to Jesus earthly power. This is ironic because Jesus is ultimately powerful. More important, Jesus did not come for earthly glory but to save us for all of eternity.
As a Christian, remember that you have citizenship in a kingdom that is not of this world, and a far greater glory coming than anything you could experience in this lifetime.
20. Matthew 4:8-11
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
In this final section of the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, we see that Satan tries to tempt Jesus with the world, power, and authority. Jesus gives us the ultimate example of how to resist temptation when He says, “Be gone from me, Satan!”
In my own life, during times of temptation I will speak (out loud, if possible), “In the name of Jesus, be gone from me Satan!” Because Jesus’ name is powerful, Satan has to run away from you.
Notice too that throughout the story, Jesus quoted Scripture. God’s Word is incredibly powerful to use during times when you are tempted to engage in sinful behavior.
21. Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus gives us an outline and ultimate example for how to pray. How meaningful that included in the Lord’s prayer is a request for God to lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is something we can pray for daily.
These Bible verses are incredibly powerful to help you fight temptation. You are not powerless. You have the strength to follow God by the Holy Spirit at work in your heart.
Which Bible verses help you resist temptation? Share about it in the comments below.
Resource to Resist Food Temptation with the Power of God
If food is one of the areas where you struggle to fight temptation (like it is for me), I encourage you to check out this helpful resource, 10 Rescue Prayers to Fight Food Temptation.
In this 21 page printable workbook, you receive specific prayers to pull out and use during times when you feel most tempted to overeat, like when you are stressed, when you are bored, or when you feel like giving up. Each prayer is matched with a meaningful Bible verse, too.
Click here to order the Rescue Prayers for Food Temptation Workbook now.
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