1st Corinthians 10 vs 13
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.
We sometimes joke, as we take another chocolate biscuit, a second or third, who’s counting, ”I can resist anything but temptation.” Actually we joke precisely because someone may be counting and we perhaps feel it’s better to comment ourselves than have someone else point out our excess. Once upon a time I thought that the temptations I faced were unique to me, like my fingerprints or the pattern of the iris but in fact, while some things may specifically test this or that one, many temptations are common to everyone; the chocolate digestives, for example.
As we daily follow Jesus we face temptations of various degrees of seriousness, but when we give in to temptation that’s when it becomes sin. That is why we ought to resist and not think of it as trivial thing. There is encouragement in this verse in three ways. First, the very fact that others face the same temptations shows us that we are not completely unique in this respect. Someone, somewhere, at some time has faced exactly the same thing because no temptation overtakes us except what is common to people. If they have dealt with it and have mastered it we can too. Secondly God who knows our hearts and our makeup understands our weaknesses as well and better than the tempter. He knows how much we can take and so he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can endure. Finally, he helps by providing an escape route. The third encouragement!
The problem however is that we do not look for the escape route or when it is presented we do not take it because the sinful nature has the upper hand and we have already given up the fight. In this the greatest temptation faced is perhaps to believe that God has left us alone to face the test, that he steps back and allows us to fall. It is a lie of the devil. Paul is unequivocal.... God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. That sounds like something that came out of personal experience, as if it comes from someone who has proved the point time and time again, so don’t blame God for your failure.
That was Paul but Jesus also in his charge to the disciples who accompanied him to the garden where he faced that final struggle of obedience to God’s will on the night of his arrest, points the way to faithfulness and victory and Luke 22 records that in the space of just a few verses he says the same thing twice, “Pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Escape routes in various forms may come to the beleaguered Christian suffering the test of faithfulness, of these though, prayer has the Master’s endorsement.
Pray like this: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13