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.
1 Corinthians 10:13-14
Have you ever heard someone say, “God will never give you more than you can handle?” Well, that sounds good, but it’s nowhere to be found in the Bible. However, in regard to temptation, that saying does apply. “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
By the way, before moving onto how God helps us through temptation, a word about that old saying that’s not found in scripture. God does help us in our times of trouble. His word counsels us on how to respond to every situation. And in those times that are too much for us to handle, He remains faithful to His promises. I’ve sat with widows and parents who have lost children to an untimely death. I’ve seen cancer patients overcome with pain they could not bear. And I’ve witnessed the agonizing turmoil one experiences in a divorce. And I’ve heard them say, “This is more than I can handle.” In those times, God’s message is, “You’re right. You can’t handle it. Give it to me.” “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
No temptation you face will be uniquely yours. You won’t be the first nor the last to have that super-powered magnet pulling you in. Our focus text makes that clear. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.”
In our weaknesses, we are tempted. To ease our suffering and anxiety we turn to something — anything, to ease the pain. Remedies that we know are NOT in our best interest and are opposed to God’s teaching, become tempting possibilities. Addictive drugs or alcohol. Material possessions we can’t afford.
My father died when I was eleven. After his death, I dealt with his loss by overeating. Food became my crutch and because of it, I ballooned to an unhealthy weight, which also affected me emotionally. I became so self-conscious of my appearance that I withdrew socially.
BUT — “when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Satan, the Tempter, doesn’t play fair. He takes advantage of our weaknesses. He’s crafty, cunning, and devious. The Devil’s not called the Deceiver for nothing. Where you are weak is where he will attack.
You know yourself better than anyone, and you know your weaknesses. Chances are you’re still dealing with the same issues you struggled with when you were young. Those vulnerabilities are the areas in which you can expect attacks.
Remember the old song, Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places by Johnny Lee? That’s what happens to some people who long for love. And when they don’t get it God’s way, they seek to fulfill that need outside the will of God, by looking in wrong places. Satan is standing by with plenty of substitutes to fulfill that need.
BUT — “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.”
You don’t have to give into temptation! God promises to give you a way out. So next time the lure of temptation becomes overwhelming, take your stand by calling upon God to show you your way out before it’s too late. Then pray for the strength to endure until the storm has passed.
For more on this topic, check out this article: How to Respond to Faith Under Fire
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Maybe I’ve missed, it but I don’t hear much talk about “temptation” anymore. Could it be that it is no longer considered a valid concern in our “as long as it feels good do it” world? At the risk of sounding like an old dude or your parents, I’m going to devote a few moments today to the subject of temptation.
For many, avoiding “temptation” has to do with dieting and staying away from cheesecake. From a biblical perspective, temptation is the lure of pleasures, passions, indulgences, and sinful behavior that leads to ungodly behavior. It is sin in seemingly irresistible packages that powerfully engages our senses and motivates us to desire something other than God. Temptation is the “I’ve got to have it” that God doesn’t want us to have. Sometimes it is so powerful that it desensitizes us to the will of God and renders us insanely stupid.
To give into temptation is to give into sin. When that happens you break fellowship with God and enter into dangerous and destructive behavior. Wallowing in such behavior ultimately hurts you, your witness, your future, and the people you love. The consequences can be devastating and long lasting.
In our scripture for today the Apostle Paul gives us very concise and meaningful instruction on the subject of temptation. He tells us who can expect to be tempted and what we should do when tempted.
Who can expect to be tempted?
That’s easy. All of us. Paul teaches that temptation is “common to man.” Temptation is no respecter of persons, age, or spiritual maturity, and it can strike when you least expect it. It is an enemy hiding in the bushes ready to attack and destroy.
As a Christian you can expect frequent occurrences of temptation. Satan is the Tempter who desires to hinder your work for God and disrupt your plans for growing in Christ. Keep your guard up.
Temptation is like a giant magnet pulling you into its grasp. Paul uses the word “seized” to describe the powerful attraction of temptation. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” To be seized is to be under the power of another. You become like a shackled prisoner.
Now, the good news. Paul reminds us that “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” That means that God is standing by and is ready to help when we are confronted by temptation. Of course, where we often miss the boat is when we are unwilling to let Him help. We want what temptation offers more than God.
God “will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” When you are under the attack of temptation ask God to show you the “way out.” Taking His “way out” provides you with the strength to “stand up under it.”
Say NO to temptation when it first appears.
Don’t allow your mind to dwell on it or try to rationalize how it might be in your best interest to give into it. The longer you think about it the more likely you are to give into it. Don’t allow the spark to turn into a consuming flame. Keep a continual and open dialogue with God. Pray through the temptation and gain your strength and wisdom from God.
You may be reading this wishing that you had heard these words sooner because you have already surrendered to temptation. God, who provides “a way out” to avoid temptation also wants to help you get your life back on track. “He is faithful to forgive.” (1 John 1:9)
Ask for His forgiveness and repent of your sin. That is to say, change the behavior that is offensive to God. Yes, there may still be lingering consequences for your sin but ultimately God will restore and renew the abundant life that He has planned for you.
For more on this topic, check out this article: When Your Spirit Is Willing but Your Flesh Is Weak
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.