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1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-13

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it. (verse 13)

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I have known this scripture since my youth. I have memorized and recited it often. I confess that sometimes I have known its power, and sometimes its truth has seemed to slip through my grasp as temptation rose up strong and overwhelming.

This day, I take the words in hand afresh. I want to grasp these simple, powerful words to my soul. Join me.

(1) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. The Lord is never surprised by my areas of weakness. I may think I’m alone in the struggle. But he tells me there are many others alongside me.

(2) God is faithful. Oh, so good. This is the grounding for the whole promise. God is faithful. He is true. He will not fail. He’s proved himself again and again. He will do so now. I conjure up stories from the biblical record to prove the case. I think of the parting of the Red Sea. I think of the walls of Jericho tumbling down. I think of Goliath crashing to the ground. I think of fire falling from heaven to ignite Elijah’s offering. I think of the cross. It is enough.

(3) … he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. This is his word. It must be true. Sometimes the temptation is so subtle, sliding in sideways before I can notice. Sometimes it seems overbearing, pressing down with so much weight. Sometimes it seems to have more endurance than I can possibly muster. But all of this is not true. I have his word on it. Temptation will never be beyond what I can bear. Because …

(4) … he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. This is the nub of the issue. “He will provide.” I’ve learned that it is much easier to see the way out at the beginning of the process, to realign my mind with the mind of the Spirit when the temptation first raises its head. But regardless, the underlying issue remains. “He will provide.” This I remind myself. This I press to my soul. This is the assurance. It can never be my power or might or strength of will. Only his provision. “Apart from me you can do nothing,” Jesus says. The corollary is that with him, I’m covered. My Dad used to sing me a song when I was a kid, that had the line: “But with my Jesus, I can do all things; With my Jesus, I cannot fail.” I embrace that afresh in light of this verse.

“Consider it all joy,” says James, “when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).

When the trials are of the “temptation” variety, thank God for 1 Corinthians 10:13.

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Dear Lord, thank you for this promise. I have not always experienced its reality. I take these truths now to my heart afresh. Please burn them in place. Strengthen me in my inner being by your Spirit. Let me know the reality: “He will provide.”

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Memorize: Take 1 Corinthians 10:13 and memorize it. Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect immediately. Working hard at it, even unsuccessfully, is like chewing it over, again and again. Grab hold of the phrases. Let them grab hold of you.


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