Remember the story of Cain and Abel? I’ve always marveled that Cain actually heard the voice of God speak to him, out loud I presume, about his bad attitude. I believe if I heard God say to me, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?” that I would have listened and not killed my brother! It seems so obvious. But then I’ve always underestimated my own sin nature while God knows all too well I might have been just like Cain, ignoring God’s plea to do the right thing. This God is able verse offers another plea, a gift of pure help.
Now, remember Jesus. He knew what it felt like to be truly famished when He fasted for 40 days. His stomach wasn’t just hungry. It was twisted in pain. We give little ones grace when they get angry because they are hungry, and rightly so. As our children get older we train them to control their emotions when they want to throw a fit because dinner isn’t ready. Jesus didn’t give in to the feelings He had when He was literally starving. He trusted God to help and provide for Him.
He also knew what it felt like to be unjustly accused, to feel angry, to want to defend Himself, or hit the arrogant, self-righteous Pharisees who slapped Him in the face. Again, Jesus said no to His desire to take revenge and get even on His own.
Because Jesus was victorious over every single temptation He faced, He has offered to help us every time we face a temptation to sin. He’s there when we want to hurt someone, scream or yell, damage something to show our anger, or become like Cain and commit murder. The results of our sin are never pretty. We are no different than Cain.
-Will you think about Jesus’ offer of help the next time you face a temptation to sin?
-Talk about why it is so hard to resist getting even or making someone pay.
-Talk about the feelings associated with suffering. Like anger. Is anger wrong or a sin? Or is what we do with our anger the problem? Read Cain’s story (Genesis 4:1-8) to help you find the answer to this question.