We’ve all heard them—phrases that sound wise, insightful, and biblical. But are they really?
First Corinthians 10:13 is one of the first verses I memorized as a new believer, and its truth has carried me through many a temptation: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.”
Notice two important parts of this empowering verse. First, God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. This tells us we can have victory over any temptation we encounter. Nothing is too hard to resist.
Second, God will always provide a way to escape. Joseph is a great example of this. Remember when Potiphar’s wife tried to entice him to sleep with her? “My husband is away, and I’ve ordered all the servants out of the house,” she said. “Come to bed with me. No one will ever know...”
I’m sure her offer was mighty tempting. He was young and virile, and she was rich and beautiful. But Joseph knew giving in to his desires would be a sin. Instead of succumbing, he took the “way out” God provided. When Potiphar’s wife caught him by his cloak, “he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house” (Genesis 39:12). Not very dignified, but highly effective.
As long as we’re alive, our sinful nature will tempt us. Notice the wording in the passage above. It doesn’t say, “if you are tempted.” It says, “when you are tempted.” Knowing this, we’d be wise to set up this three-fold defense before we encounter a temptation: First, memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13. Second, look for the way of escape. Third, take it.
Image courtesy: Getty Images / Shurkin Son