“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and 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.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

What is the one situation which consistently seems to cause your resolve to crumble? We all have walls which we run into time and time again which seem nearly impossible to overcome. Can we really do all things through Christ who strengthens us? There is only one way to find out. When temptation to despair or give in to self pity is at its greatest, we have a most precious opportunity to grow. Jesus is more than able if we will but believe it.

Contrary to how we may feel, intense temptation is not sin. The thought strikes us at times that we must have stepped off the path somewhere when we encounter battles with unholy desires. The power to resist evil when we think we heave already unconsciously yielded is nearly impossible. While sometimes we do place ourselves upon dangerous ground through neglecting communion with our Heavenly Father, often temptation strikes for the very reason that we are striving to honor God. 

When we feel our weakest and yielding to bitterness, anger, impatience, or self pity seems all but inevitable, God's grace is especially available to us. Resisting the enemy when we are bombarded with negative emotions and tempted with discouragement is a most powerful statement of faith. When we hang on amidst the most intense struggle we are declaring that we choose God over our personal comfort. We are declaring that we believe our Father is worthy of our pain. 

Ironically the pain of enduring temptation for God's glory is infinitely better and passes much more quickly than the pain which follows yielding to temptation. While discomfort and pain are not the enemies we think they are, even they are ultimately minimized by staying faithful. Here is a concrete challenge which has the potential to turn the tide in your battle against sin. Next time you are facing what appears to be an insurmountable wall of temptation, commit yourself to write, sing, or pray aloud about the goodness of God. It will undoubtedly feel awkward and difficult, even painful at first, but if you persevere it will consume every ounce of power any temptation has over you. 

Absolutely nothing is sweeter than making it over a wall of temptation you once thought was insurmountable. The peace that follows victory is well worth the pain endured to achieve it. Jesus knows this, so instead of shielding you from every difficulty, he extends his hand that you might walk with him through it. Remember it is at such times that his grace abounds most abundantly.

Still Seeking His Face,

Pastor Andrew

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