A Source of Strength"To ask for help to overcome temptation is to humbly recognize your weaknesses and limitations and admit God’s almighty power and grace."
Have you ever heard someone say, “If I only had the strength to say no!?” Many people feel that their lives would be completely different if they were able to master their own impulses. Giving in to our passions and desires prevents submission to God and condemns us to unhappiness.
This lack of self-control is essentially spiritual weakness. What is the answer to this problem? Do we need to have our strength increased? The fact is that Satan is so much more powerful than we are that human strength, no matter how great, is never adequate to defeat him. But God speaks this word of encouragement to us:
“The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”1 John 4:4
What we need is not to get stronger, but to tap into His strength. The Apostle Paul records that when he asked that his “thorn in the flesh” be taken away from him, the Lord said to him:
“ … my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. … For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9, 10
The prophet Isaiah declared, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”Isaiah 40:31
But the word translated “renew” actually means “exchange”; that is, the ones who hope in the Lord will exchange their strength for His (Isaiah 40:31).
No one can withstand temptation without the Lord’s help and protection. Ironically, Psalm 91—the very psalm quoted by Satan in his attempt to persuade Jesus to throw Himself down from the Temple tower—contains powerful images representing the protection available to everyone who has sought refuge in God.
“You who live in the shelter of thePsalm 91:1–3 NRSV
Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.”
In the midst of the scorching siege of temptations and trials, the believer is invited to enjoy the cool relief and comfort of God’s shadow. He is an impenetrable stronghold, an infinitely reliable protector. When the enemy has set his traps and is lurking and ready to pounce, or when the foul, disease–laden pollution of sin threatens to overwhelm the believer, God will deliver.
The Corinthian church was besieged by incitements to all kinds of sin: idolatry, sexual immorality, murmuring, and, in particular, arrogance and spiritual pride. The Apostle Paul was prompted to write:
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”1 Corinthians 10:12, NLT
Do you find yourself struggling with temptation? The Lord is “able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude 24). He is always willing to help—and waiting to be asked. Actually,
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged:
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” words by Joseph M. Scriven, 1855.
Alan J. Gonzalez’ Spanish Colum for the War Cry (Excerpted from The Lord’s Captain Alan J. Gonzalez. First Published by the US Southern Territory, Atlanta, GA, 2017. Available in Amazon.com)