Teenagers can better resist temptation and overcome the devil when they’re grounded in God’s Word. So check out these 19 Bible verses about temptation — and share them with your youth group members!
The Battle to Resist Temptation
I don’t know you or your story. I don’t know what temptations you’re fighting right now. In fact, our biggest temptations probably don’t look the same!
For most of my life, food was my biggest temptation. My 100-pound weight loss journey was far more a spiritual/character journey than it was just about a change in my body. It was a daily fight against my desire for food. It was the thing that was trying to lure me away from God and tell me that I could and should get what I wanted when I wanted it.
My food cravings told me they were a “need,” not a want. They screamed at me to turn to food instead of God when I knew food would never fix the problems I was dealing with. Small temptations turned into huge, character-altering temptations that destroyed both my body and my soul. But that’s not the end of my story.
I have a God who fought for me and made me an overcomer as I fought to resist temptation one step at a time.
And whatever you’re facing, you can too. Read on to learn more about my own battle against temptation and how to fight (and overcome!) yours. God’s Word is filled with practical advice to resist temptation. Start with these 19 Bible verses about temptation.
19 Scriptures to Resist Temptation
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
One of the most important things to remember is that temptation is common to mankind. It’s not a question of if you will be tempted, just a question of when. Feeling tempted does not make you a bad person or a weak Christian. It just makes you human.
But the second half of this verse is my favorite. “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Amid temptation, we often feel alone, like nobody else could understand the struggle we are dealing with. That’s a lie from the enemy.
God is with us every second of our temptation and knows how hard we are fighting. And, He is a God of grace, so He provides a way out. Our job is not to avoid all temptation, but instead to remember to look for the way out that God is providing.
I have thought, written, memorized, spoken, and sung this verse thousands of times when I was tempted to turn to food to fix a problem that only God could fix.
2. Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Even though 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us we will experience temptation, it’s still a worthy prayer to ask God not to lead us into temptation.
This is even in a section of Scripture where Jesus is telling us exactly how to pray. So you know it’s important enough to ask!
3. Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
This verse is when Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples. He knows He is about to be crucified and He asked them to be on the lookout for Him to give him time to pray.
When He came back after just an hour, the disciples were asleep and He spoke this verse to Peter.
Jesus understands our sin nature so well. He knows that, most of the time, our intentions are good. He also knows that we are not strong enough to resist temptation on our own.
Our responsibility is to be watchful and ask God for His strength to resist temptation. We can’t do it without Him!
4. James 1:13-15
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
The enemy is cunning and creative. He doesn’t tend to go straight for obviously sinful things to lure us in.
He starts by teasing us with little desires that seem harmless at the time. Then he continues to grow that desire slowly, almost imperceptibly, until we are all-out sinning, driving a huge wedge in between our relationship with God and others.
As I mentioned, a major sin of mine was food. It started off with “no big deal” things like eating a few extra bites. Before I knew it, I “needed” food so badly that I was waiting until my family was asleep, sneaking into our pantry, stealing food that belonged to everybody, and hiding in my bedroom in the middle of the night eating boxes of Little Debbies and fruit snacks (and then sneaking around again to hide all of the evidence).
My food problem became a character problem. And that’s how sin so often works. Be on guard and watch those “no big deal” desires carefully.
5. Luke 4:2
Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
This Bible verse is talking about when Jesus was in the desert for 40 days. He had to resist temptation from the devil.
It’s a story I’ve heard since I was a child but when I take the time to actually envision the 40 straight days of temptation Jesus endured, having to battle every human need of his screaming out for attention each day, I am so thankful.
I’m so thankful God sent His Son here to not just know about the devil’s schemes but to experience Himself every temptation that we would be faced with.
It’s comforting to know that Jesus understands. He went through it all. It makes me feel not so alone as I resist temptation, and it gives me hope. Because Jesus has gone through it Himself, His help is personal and relatable, not distant and disconnected.