This chapter tells us that it is good for us to have trials and times of trouble. And that it also is good for us to be misjudged even when we mean to do well. These help us to be humble and “shield us from vainglory”.
And we are told if we seek God with all of our heart we will not need the “consolations of men.”
Those of us who seek God with all of our hearts are however, not immune to afflictions, temptations, evil thoughts, etc but we realize that these are just to be seen as a worldly things that show us our greater need for God and without whom we can do no good. We understand “fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.”
Right from jump street this chapter tells us that the “devil never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour”. This tells us that as long as we are alive we can never be free from his temptations. We are told that those of us who do not resist the devil “become reprobate and fall away”.
This is very important- we are told that if we just “outwardly shun temptations and do not uproot them we will make little progress; indeed they will quickly return, more violent than before.” And this is why we should not condemn ourselves or others for temptations that may or may not befall us, for we are to console others as God consoles us.
We are told about the beginnings of temptations that “all temptation lies in a wavering mind little trust in God.” Therefore, we are to be “especially alert against the beginnings of temptation.” And the devil is “more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.” When we delay resisting the devil gains strength.
We are given the ways of the devil; “thoughts come to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent.”
We are also told what to do when we are tempted; pray to God fervently for help, and stand on the promise of His Word that He will always help us in times of temptation.