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Overcoming Temptation

(The following is the July 20 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read 1 Corinthians 10 and pay close attention to verses 6-13.)

Christians can feel alone when experiencing temptation. Our past failures in overcoming particular sins may contribute to uncertainty about conquering present temptations. We may be ashamed to confess our struggles to fellow Christians and seek help. No matter how long we have known and loved Christ, moments driven by unholy desires can at least temporarily derail our Christian walk and witness.

Thankfully, temptation doesn’t get the final word. After reminding the Corinthians about Israel’s past spiritual failures, Paul gave this hope: “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it” (v. 13).

We may think nobody has ever walked in our shoes, but others have experienced and overcome the temptations we face. We’re not alone historically or now. If you’ve ever benefited from a support group, you’ve known the strength that comes from realizing you’re not alone when facing struggles. The body of Christ can be the Christian’s primary support group if we swallow our pride, confess our sins to one another, and work to strengthen each other with understanding love.

Paul assures us that it’s possible to overcome any temptation. It may occasionally seem like we’re facing more than we can handle, but it will never be more than the indwelling Holy Spirit can endure. God’s way out may include removing us from the situation, or his will may be to strengthen us to bear it to the end. Either way, we can take heart when we take God at his Word, confident that victory is possible over any temptation a child of God faces.

Next Step:

When have you struggled to resist temptation? When have you followed God’s way out? Praise him for his faithfulness, and pray to recognize and follow his escape plan the next time you’re tempted.

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