1 Corinthians 10:13 – 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. (NIV)
Because I was a teenage alcoholic, I still feel tempted to go out on a binge, especially when I'm under pressure or tired. Even when I entertained with our band, Glenfinnan, at a Scottish Burns Supper, I wanted to slake my thirst with the profusion of single malt whiskies that were freely offered and displayed all over the banquet hall. I'm not saying that it took a great deal of willpower to abstain, but I was glad that my erstwhile companions in the band were also there. Who knows what I would have taken if I had been on my own?
We all face temptations each and every day. For some of us, the struggle is easily overcome by another distraction. For others amongst us, it's only the power of prayer and God's strength that enables us to overcome our weaknesses and triumph over temptation. The good thing is that God doesn't want us to fail, and as it says in today's Scripture, He always provides us with an opportunity to avoid sinning. He doesn't take us away from the sin; He just gives us the way out.
People are dealing with temptation every moment of the day. Some are addicted to bad habits like greed, pride, and bitterness. Others are caught in the trap of addiction with food, drugs, alcohol, and even pornography. The weaknesses of the human soul and its sinful longings are deeply tied to human misery and despair. It's only when we look up and reach out to God that we can begin the real journey of healing, release, and reformation. It's only when we trust Him and seek His guidance that we can be the people He meant us to be, that we can become the heirs of His Kingdom and the servants of His Son.
Prayer: Father God, You know us completely and are fully aware of our weaknesses, sinful habits, and secret addictions. We cannot fool You, nor can we shut You out from what's going on in our lives. Help us, Lord, to endure faithfully the arrows of temptation that seek to pierce and damage our souls. Grant us the courage to overcome our failings, and enable us to see the opportunities that You lovingly grant us to escape from each sin. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.