One thing that we are seldom without in our home is junk food. Now, I am quite content to snack on fruit or veggies, I am not really tempted to eat the Miss Vickies Salt and Malt Potato Chips or the Chocolate Covered Jube Jubes that are sitting on the counter. In fact they could easily sit there past their best before date and I wouldn’t be tempted to open them at all.
However, when someone else opens the package my resolve breaks… I can’t pass the bag without helping myself. Before I can even think about it I am crunching down on those crispy potato chips or pulling the sticky candy from my teeth.
But, when I come to terms with my weakness, when I realize my indulgence and how unnecessary it is I move the junk food out of reach…sometimes I even throw it out (if it isn’t all gone).
We all face temptations…and they don’t all have to do with potato chips or chocolate. So what do we do when we can’t put that temptation in a cupboard or toss it in the trash? Do we give up or give in? Do we run to it or from it? Do we muster up our strength or do we ask for help? Do we say the devil made me do it or do we ask God to see us through it?
There is encouragement to be found in the face of temptations of all sorts found in the Word of God:
“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)
I am encouraged by this verse first of all to know that I am not alone in my temptations. That I am not being picked on or singled out, it is common to others. There is strength in numbers and to know that others have resisted temptation encourages me, and I in turn would like to encourage others by remaining strong in the face of temptation.
However, I am most encouraged by the part that God plays in the face of my temptations. He who is faithful will not see me broken by my temptation…He will provide the way for me to endure, to overcome, to be triumphant.
I have a choice to make. We all have a choice to make in the face of temptation. Will we focus on the temptation, or will we turn our eyes to Jesus? Will we enjoy that weakness for a day, or will we bend our knees and pray? Will we be overcome or will we be overcomers? Will we try this on our own or will we rely on the infinite strength of God?
So the next time you look at that bag of potato chips or chocolate bar, remember the grace and power that is always available to you in the Lord.