posted on October 08, 2017 23:16
1 Cor. 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Your struggle with sin is overrated. It’s easier to walk in victory than you think it is.
“But you don’t know my history! You don’t know my dependencies! You just don’t know…”
I don’t have to know. God already said it. Your temptation is common. It’s not special or unique. We don’t have to find some new formula for victory. Every single temptation you’ve ever experienced is old news. In every single case, God has always been, is, and will always be faithful to provide for you an escape.
“You don’t know how it feels.”
My empathy isn’t necessary. Society’s approval is vain. We serve a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15). Why look elsewhere for what God can give you?
This may sound harsh, but if so it is because of the backdrop of our current secular worldview. We live in a society that legitimizes pain and struggle on the basis of it being pain and struggle. Our fallen culture will tell you that your crisis is unique and that your feelings need to be served.
There is a place for recognizing and dealing with legitimate pain. We tend to go far beyond that. Just because something is felt doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate. Too many of us are slaves to our emotions and therefore temptation. Our emotions should be our slaves. Have we lost the skill of filtering our emotions through truth? Do we possess the self-control to allow healthy emotion and prohibit the rest?
No temptation has seized you except what is common. How do we treat temptation as common? We put it in its place. We force it to submit to the word of God.
Are you tempted with discouragement? God is not discouraged.
Are you tempted with fear? God is not afraid.
Are you tempted with lust? God satisfies. (Psalm 145:14-16)
Are you tempted with anger? Let your anger be based upon truth, do not sin and do not harbor it. (Eph. 4:25-27)
The truth, that your temptation is common, should not be insulting. This should be liberating! What a relief to know that your battle is not as foreboding as it appeared! And so, when we are tempted, let us enthusiastically remind ourselves that no temptation is unique. Let us experience God’s provision for endurance!