God is our way to endure temptation.
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“No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 New English Translation
This young man was waiting in line for his lunch. I’m sure that he was quite hungry by this time. He had joined other children from Lepaterique, Honduras and the surrounding villages to hear God’s Word and play a variety of games. It must have been a struggle for him to wait for his food–especially when he couldn’t see how close he was getting to the food. He was trapped.
Maybe that’s the way you feel as you face temptations. The appeal of the temptation is so great that you feel incapable of resisting. You’re hemmed in–trapped by the desire to do something you know that you shouldn’t do. Those of us who struggle with destructive addictions know what it feels like to be trapped.
It might comfort us to know that the temptations we face also confront other people. Yet, that thought alone leads to the conclusion that “misery loves company.” Paul gets our attention, but he moves us beyond group pity. “God is faithful.” Resisting temptation begins in the person of God. In his faithfulness, God has delivered us from sin and its consequences. The Son of God remained faithful, even to the point of death on his cross (Philippians 2:8).
Knowing that we still wrestle with temptation, Paul reminds us that God is the one who provides the way out from underneath temptation’s oppressive nature. This means of escape is not the removal of temptation (as much as we might want that to be the case), but the ability for us to bear up under that temptation.
We will trudge alone under the weight of temptation, but we do not need to lose hope. God will not abandon us, even in the face of severe temptation. He is our way out, that we might endure to the end.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO