It’s a verse that challenges me. It encourages me. In the midst of temptation it gives me hope. First Corinthians 10:13 has been repeated so often in the fight against sin that sometimes I forget to pause and reflect upon each of the words.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
While this verse is challenging, encouraging, and hopeful, most of all, I find this verse incredibly humbling. There’s one phrase in the verse that stops me in my tracks and makes me want to let out a long, deep sigh. It’s the part about whatever temptation I’m fighting being “common to man.”
Most days, I don’t view my temptations as common. In fact, I want people to understand how terribly uncommon my struggle is so that they’ll sympathize with me when I don’t take the way out provided. Secretly, I want to tell them my tale of woe as a means to escape the guilt of my own sinful choices.
I want people to understand just how incredibly difficult that friend is so I feel justified when I tell them that little tidbit of gossip. I must explain just how crazy busy my life is so that they’ll understand why I am always running late. I give them glimpses into the sin patterns of my husband and children so that they’ll sympathize with me when I tell them that in a fit I yelled at them all. I repeat again and again the difficult circumstances I’m facing to hide my grumbling and complaining under the guise of being authentic and real. The only thing I don’t want to tell people about my struggle is that it’s common.
The notion that whatever temptation comes knocking at my door is typical silences my inner justifications. My temptation isn’t special. My circumstances are not cause for disobedience. Others have faced this very thing and by the Spirit have faithfully endured. My pride protests, “Anyone facing this circumstance would give in!” But the Spirit faithfully reminds me that there’s a way of escape. By God’s grace, obedience is possible.
Whatever temptation you face, the power of Jesus is available to help. His Spirit is alive in you. God knows exactly what you can bear, and He’s actively arranging all the details of your life to provide a way out so you may endure. Whatever you face today is a common struggle. The grace He provides in the midst of the struggle will strengthen and protect you.
His commands are not burdens but blessings. We can delight in the perfect law that gives freedom, knowing God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light to our path. Choose today to walk in His ways, trusting in His power to give you all you need to obey in every way.