Yielding to temptation can be costly. A moment of weakness may bring years of regret. It is dangerous to take temptation lightly.
Moses led his people out of their slavery in Egypt to freedom. He endured their complaining and criticism of his leadership and prayed for them when their destruction seemed imminent. But an outburst of temper kept him from leading them into the Promised Land.
David rose from the sheepfold to the throne. He was eminently successful and is still thought of as his nation’s greatest king. But his affair with Bathsheba brought him sorrow and has tainted his reputation through the ages.
Temptation is common to all. And there is nothing sinful or disgraceful about being tempted. It is in yielding to temptation that we miss out on the best in life.
One of the encouraging things about temptation is its universal sameness. Every temptation that comes our way has been experienced by someone else. The setting may not be the same, but the basics of temptation are unchanging. Others who came before us have waged the same battles we fight today. Some have won and others have lost and suffered the consequences. Why not choose to be among the winners?
Samson and David were overcome by sexual lust, but Potiphar’s wife was unable to seduce Joseph, even though he knew that resisting her advances would get him into serious trouble (Genesis 39). Peter yielded to the pressure of the crowd at the crucifixion and denied his Lord three times, but John stood fearlessly at the cross and accepted the responsibility of caring for Mary when asked to do so (John 19).
A young missionary was told by a counselor to expect to win over the temptation that was troubling him because God is faithful. The counselor’s advice was consistent with the good news shared by Paul, the apostle, in his letter to Corinthian believers: we can overcome every temptation that comes to us (I Corinthians 10:13). What good news!
Since God is faithful, He has limited all the temptations you will ever face to your power to overcome them. No temptation that is beyond your ability to resist will ever be allowed to confront you.
In order to give such a guarantee, God has to know the limit of your strength. And He does! According to the Bible, He has already measured the distance to your breaking point and forbids any temptation to go beyond it.
Neither trials nor temptations can move beyond the limits placed on them by the faithful One who loves us. The famous preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, said, “No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patients with half so much care and exactness as God weighs out to us every trial. Not one grain too much does He ever permit to be put on the scale.”
Have you found yourself saying, “I just can’t resist this temptation?” Do you think you lack the strength to break a bondage that has been dragging you down and placing your future in jeopardy?
Not true! When tempted, we are all without excuse. We can overcome.
Stop thinking like a loser. You can win!
Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org