“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
Temptation is not a hot sermon topic in our time. We seek to avoid discussion regarding our temptations at all costs, acting as if cravings and desires to do wrong do not even exist.
However, the apostle Paul clearly understood both the reality and the difficulty of temptation in our lives. First, he notes that temptation is nothing new. We may think our struggle is unique in the history of humanity, yet it is not. Countless individuals before us and even now struggle with everything from skipping work to cheating on school exams to viewing inappropriate images and videos.
Second, Paul offers hope. In his words God, “…will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” This is written to believers in Jesus, those who have God’s Spirit living in them. With the Spirit of God in our lives, we have the potential to turn from temptation and to choose what is right. We don’t always do this, but the power is there.
Third, we find an often overlooked insight into our human response to temptation. Paul called it endurance. We are often taught only to flee from sin or simply told “to do what is right.” Yet Paul offers a profound perspective through the concept of endurance. Sometimes overcoming a particular personal struggle is not about fight or flight but rather outlasting the temptation. Whether a lifelong personal struggle or a one-time desire, the solution includes outlasting the struggle through God’s Spirit within us.
Unlike an exam in school, temptation is often a test of persistence, not one of achievement.
Be encouraged today to endure temptations as they come your way, knowing that God offers strength for the moment, if only we will ask and endure.
Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.