The Gospel on the First Sunday in Lent highlights Jesus' temptations. I came across this little reflection on the internet and found it very salutary. So I'd like to share it here:
Temptation is a reality of the Christian life. It is there for two reasons.
The first reason is this: Satan does not want us to succeed at being God's people.
I mean imagine a world where Christian's actually lived like Christ? And did what he did? All the time! This is not a pleasant thought for those who love darkness. And it leads to a spiritual principle that I really want you to take note of - and that is this: THE CLOSER YOU GET TO GOD - THE STRONGER THE TEMPTATIONS YOU WILL FEEL. Or to put it another way: "The devil never attacks those who are already on his side".
The second reason for temptation is this: God wants us to choose Him freely.
God does not want you or anyone else to be obedient 'robots', he wants us to be whole human beings who freely love him and others; to be people who in every way are made in His Image. God places before us the possibility of different actions – some good for us and others detrimental to our growth. And that requires something for us to choose, something for us to do, something for us to believe. This possibility to choose can be challenging and tiresome but then "no pain – no gain".