The Way Out of Temptation
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.
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.