Temptation Provides a Glimpse of God

The 2nd reality streaming to us from 1 Corinthians 10:13 is:

God is Faithful

Now, the rest of the verse shows us that temptation provides the opportunity for us to see something about God, something that we also forget when tempted.  Look at the rest of the verse: “He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

What does the rest of the verse show us about God when we are tempted?  That He is faithful, and particularly faithful to His people in two ways: 1) not letting us be tempted beyond our ability, and 2) providing a way out when we are tempted so we can endure.

I must say that this part of the verse is interesting.  Does God really not let us be tempted beyond our own ability?  What does that even mean?  Well, James 1:13 is clear – God does not tempt us, we are led away by our own sinful desires.  But though God doesn’t tempt us, He is not absent in our temptation.  He is allowing only a certain amount of temptation to come to us, and a certain amount only.  Do we not pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one?”

The key to note, I think, is that our opinion of what we can handle and God’s opinion of what we can handle are different, and this difference of opinion is a good thing.  Just like a good trainer will always push you farther and harder than you think you can go, so too God will always lead His people farther and deeper than we think we’re able.  You see, from God’s point of view we can handle anything.  Remember these verses: “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13), “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), “He has given us all we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3).  It seems that God has said we have all we need, all things are possible, and that we can do all things through Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.  That makes our limit on what we can handle pretty large.

On top of all of this encouragement from God about making through temptation by relying on Him and His strength we have another promise, He will provide a way out so we may be able to endure.  When temptation comes, when we feel the Tempter bearing down on us, enticing us to believe that something really is better than Jesus, when you’re fighting, when you’re laboring to believe the gospel, bank on the promises of God, when you’re doing all you can do to stand, graciously, who shows up?  God!  He is at work, loving, leading, strengthening, holding, and providing escape for us.

The question is: do you want to escape?

You ever thought about that?  It’s that crucial point when we see two options before you, one is the way to gratifying sinful desire, having what you want, and opening all of you to what the Devil is tempting you with; while the other is the way out, the way of escape God has provided you with, the way to lasting joy and freedom.  What do you choose?  We’ve all been there, and we all know one thing.  What God has for you is life and freedom and joy and infinite pleasure.  What the Devil has for you is sin, fleeting joy, empty promises, and slavery.  Friends, strive to go down the narrow path.  Trust that God knows best, He saved you, He is limiting temptation so it doesn’t beat you down, He is providing a way of escape for you, He will see you through to the end, if you trust in Him.

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