A few years ago, we endured a time of discouragement and trials galore. My husband and I were both under a lot of external stress, both personal and from ministry, and our marriage temporarily suffered. I faced the temptation to give up nearly daily!
I felt like one of the Israelites in the desert, bemoaning my situation and feeling helpless to enact change.
I share this story with you today, hoping that it may encourage you if you’re facing a situation that seems impossible, or even unbearable. I hope you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone and that He always provides a way to overcome temptation!
It’s almost supper time, but the stove top sits empty and no pleasing aromas fragrance the air. I’ve not even yet decided what to cook, let alone made any sort of preparations. Instead, I’m sitting in my bedroom trying desperately to pray while my preschoolers whine for attention right outside of the bedroom door.
My husband, weary from our recent argument, sits slumped over just outside the door at the dining room table. He’s grumbling over the budget and seems unaware of the noise around him.
There is no peace, no quiet here.
But I need to pray because I am one moment away from falling. One moment from allowing my impatience, anger, resentment, and frustration to spill over onto my family. One moment away from blowing it.
One moment from losing any chance to overcome temptation.
At this moment I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Satan has set his sights on me; I’m being tested.
It isn’t the first of such evenings in my home. In fact, our marriage relationship has been under strain for a few months now, and I’ve grown oh-so-weary of “fighting the good fight.” However, this past week, God has shown me the truth of my situation; I haven’t been doing my part, either.
I have been selfish. I have been lazy. I have been avoiding the time with my Lord that I need. Thus, I recently resolved to make some positive changes, knowing full well that temptation would linger near.
So as I sit here in my room praying while the chaos rages just outside of the door, I laugh.
Yes, I laugh!
It’s absurd, even comical, that every other person in my home would suddenly become distractions at the very moment I attempt to find peace. I want to complain to the Lord that I’m trying so hard to do what is right, to seek Him in my moment of weakness, but He’s not making it very easy!
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 (NIV)
According to His Word, I can overcome temptation, even this temptation.
In that moment of laughter, I realize the truth that as long as I’m trying to do right, to obey God, Satan is not going to leave me alone. In fact, He’s even going to use good things like bible study and prayer against me by causing frustration and chaos at just the right moment.
Thankfully, now that God has shown me the truth of the matter, Satan cannot win. I see his game plan for what it is, and prayer is a powerful tool!
Sorry, Satan, I’m getting up from my throne of self-pity and frustration, and I’m cooking supper tonight.
Lord, I thank you for always providing a way out for us, even when it seems impossible or unbearable! I ask that you would encourage my sisters in Christ today to look for the way out when they face temptation. Help them to see the truth in whatever situations they face. Remind them that You are with them always, every step of the way, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Give them the strength they need to resist temptation and to flee the Devil and remind them of your unfailing love and grace for them because of your Son, Jesus Christ. I ask all of these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.
We can overcome temptation, friends, by standing on God’s truth!
P.S. When you’re struggling with temptation, write or print out the verse above and hang it where you will see it frequently. Use God’s Word as a reminder that you CAN overcome!