The Promise of a Way of Escape (Part 3)

our-way-out1 Corinthians 10:13 teaches us several things that we can learn about ourselves in the midst of our temptations. Listen to the verse again, “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.”

At first glance the promise at the end of the verse sounds contradictory.  It says that when we face a temptation, God provides a way out so we can remain under it.  So which is it?  Does God want us out of the temptation or to stand under it?  He wants both. Remember what we learned in point one, that in every trial there is a double possibility?  The devil wants to use an event to turn us to sin, but the Lord wants to use the event to grow us up in righteousness.  And He gives us exactly what we need to bring that about, a way out and the strength necessary to endure. So here’s the promise regarding ourselves:

If we are in Christ, we have the resources to stand.  To stand rather than fall.  Jesus Christ came to earth as the God-man, faced temptation in our place and resisted it perfectly.  He never sinned.  But He did die for sins, not His own but for the sins of every person who would repent and put their trust in Him.  That’s why He went to the cross, to take care of our sin problem.  And three days later our victorious Savior defeated death and came back to life, so that today God offers forgiveness for sin and power over sin to all who put their trust in His Son.

Do you know what that means?  It means that if we are in Christ, we have the necessary resources to stand, no matter what we’re facing.  We have them because Christ has given them to us.  It’s a fact.  The deposit is in the bank.  We can stand.

If we depend on Christ, we will stand.  He will provide a way out, and He will walk with us through that way out.  But we must take it, and we must take it in total dependence on Him.

How do we do that?  How do we depend on Christ?  Good question.  Right now you’re depending on your seat to hold you up so you don’t fall.  That means you’ve assessed that seat, concluded that it’s reliable to hold you, and then put your weight on it.  You are depending on it.  So do that with Christ.  Do it every day, in every difficulty you face.  Put your weight on Christ.  Lean on Him.  Trust in Him.  Rely on Him.  Take Him at His word.

And if we do?  Please notice what the text does not say.  It does not say that God will provide a way of escape so we don’t have to stand up under temptation any longer.  This is not a promise of smooth-sailing.  This is a promise of stability while the storm continues to rage.  God doesn’t say He will remove us from difficult situations.  Sometimes He does, but that’s not His promise.  He says He will give us exactly what we need, when we need it, so we can withstand the difficult situations for His honor.

Brad Brandt is senior pastor at Wheelersburg Baptist Church in Wheelersburg, OH. He is a certified Nouthentic Counselor and is one of the authors of God in Everyday Life: The Book of Ruth for Expositors and Biblical Counselors (Kress, 2007). He is a graduate of Cedarville (BA), Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (M.Div. and Th.M.), and Grace Seminary (D.Min.).

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