We all need encouragement, especially when temptation to sin is weighing heavily upon us. Thankfully, the Scripture gives us two encouragements to help us fight temptation:
- Temptation is common to man.
- In temptation, God is faithful.
If you’re familiar with Scripture, you will recognize that these two encouragements come from 1 Cor 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
So how do these two truths provide encouragement during temptation?
First, because temptation is “common to man,” your temptation is not unique. It’s not that your temptation is exactly the same as another’s, for you have different circumstances and situations. Rather, it’s more like you have different symptoms of the same disease. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians facing similar temptations right now. And this is encouragement to fight temptation.
Second, because temptation is “common to man,” you are not alone. The logic is simple: You are human; temptation is common to humans; therefore, you experience temptation like everyone else—you are not alone. We are all fighting temptations to varying degrees: pastors, lay people, and our spiritual heroes. We are in this together. And this is encouragement to fight temptation.
While the truth that temptation is “common to man” is an encouragement, since temptation is so constant and common, we need something more than the truth that temptation is “common to man.” We need (and have) someone better: God’s faithfulness. That’s why Paul says, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful.” We can depend on God.
So, third, because “God is faithful” during temptation, we can depend on God for a way of escape. Our temptation escape route is built on the unchanging, unwavering, constant faithfulness of God. And this provides abundant encouragement.
Fourth, because “God is faithful” during temptation, we can depend on God for endurance. In other words, God provides escape. Why? “So that you will be able to endure the temptation.” This provides so much encouragement.
No matter the temptation you are facing today—however big or small—find encouragement in the fact that your temptation is “common to man” and “God is faithful!”