Taking on the Temptations of the World!
Christians are not immune to the strong pull of temptation, but God has promised us that He will help us to overcome and escape the desire to do things we shouldn’t. The apostle Paul was warning the church in Corinth of the dangers of falling backward in their faith, when he wrote an encouraging verse about how we can overcome temptation. Paul said, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:12,13). Let’s examine some of the truths Paul describes in this amazing verse, and see if they can help us in our daily battles against the temptations of the world.
1. We will face temptation, but nothing greater than what any other man has had to endure. Paul states in the beginning of the verse that we are not going to have to endure anything that is not common to all other men. In other words, if it is tempting, man has already been tempted by it somewhere at sometime. This should be comforting to us because we realize that others have faced the same temptations that come before us. Paul was saying that the same old temptations have lured mankind into sin since the beginning of time. John described them as the “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). Knowing what we are up against should help us prepare for it when it comes.
2. Paul reassures us that God is not going to allow us to be tempted more than we can handle. Paul states that God is faithful in this matter, so we can rest assured that He is on our side. God knows each and everyone of us. He knows how much we can handle, and He knows when it will be too much for us as well. We must remember that God uses the temptations and trying times to test our faith, and also to help prepare us for eternal service in His kingdom. Precious metals are passed through the furnace to burn out the dross and impurities. The same could be said of Christians. God will allow us to go through the trials and temptations to build our character, but He will never allow us to go through something He knows we can’t handle.
3. Paul tells us that we will definitely go through times of temptation, but God will always provide us with a way of escape. This part of the verse is a testimony to the fact that God has given all men the gift of free will. He wants us to grow stronger and learn to resist temptations on our own. We are given the opportunity to walk away from the temptation by using the way of escape that God has so graciously provided. God does not simply pull us out of the temptation, because that would not help us grow or give us the opportunity to show Him how much we love him. Instead, God provides us with a way of escape from the temptation so we can choose whether or not we will take it. James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2,3). It’s like that old saying that says, “Whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” Remember, God has a purpose for each one of us, and we have to be spiritually prepared to do the work. This is one way God providentially prepares us to become the Christians He knows we are capable of becoming. God uses the temptations we encounter to make us stronger and better equipped to take on the world. -Ed