I am claustrophobic. Not all small spaces send me into a panic, just small spaces that do not have a very clear way out. I’m fine in an elevator, as long as it opens when expected. I can even handle a cave or a tunnel as long as I can see the exit. But I have to be able to see the way out. If I feel trapped, I’m going into panic mode! The same type of panic can happen when temptation comes our way. Sometimes we may feel like there’s no hope for overcoming it. If we’re depending on our own willpower, we might just decide that the temptation is too strong and it’s easier to just give in. But God has promised that he will provide a way out when we find ourselves struggling with temptation!
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. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
This verse tells us some important things about temptation. First of all, there is nothing uncommon about it. Temptation is a guaranteed struggle for each of us as long as we live in this fallen world. We should expect it! Even Jesus faced temptation! (Hebrews 4:15, Matthew 4:1-11)
Yet even though we should expect temptation to come our way, we must also remember that God is faithful! He will never allow our feet to be held to the fire longer than we can bear. When we are tempted, God will provide a way out so that we can endure it. The way out might not be immediate. It may be something we can see up ahead that will help us to endure the temptation a little while longer. The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” that we can move towards. It’s there somewhere! Satan may be trying to conceal it, but God promises that it’s there. We just need to look for it and when we see it, we need to put all of our energy into reaching it. We will overcome the temptations we face when we focus on God and let him show us the way out.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12