The Way Of Escape In Temptation
“God is faithful, who will . . . also make a way to escape” (1 Cor. 10:13). You can always count on the faithfulness of God. He is able, and He will do it. While He permits the enemy to hedge us about occasionally with what seems to be an insurmountable wall, He never allows him to place a roof over us; hence the Christian can always look up, and receive help from above. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). There is no promise of immunity from temptation, but there is a promise of strength “as thy day,” and “a way of escape.” We will never need to endure that which we cannot endure, seeing “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” The way of escape does not always appear before entering into the temptation, but in the midst of the same. God could have delivered the three Hebrew children before they were cast into the fiery furnace, but such was not His plan; but the deliverance was granted to them in the midst of the fiery flame; so that even a heathen king was compelled to acknowledge the presence of “the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” who was with them; and that “no other god can deliver after this sort.” He could have delivered Daniel before he was cast into the lions’ den, but the greater deliverance, and the greater victory, was given in the midst of the lions, when Daniel was brought forth unharmed.
If the reader were to interview Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in heaven, and ask them to tell what they regarded as their richest Christian experience while on earth, they would doubtless say, it was at “the time when they made it hot for us” — seeing the furnace was made “seven times” hotter “than it was wont to be” — and God delivered us. In like manner Daniel would doubtless tell you his richest Christian experience was granted at the time when his enemies tried to “lionize” him and thrust him into the lions’ den, and God so miraculously delivered him. Here we see that the greatest trials become the greatest blessings — blessings in disguise. The deliverance in the midst of the trial is a greater blessing, and a greater victory, than it would be if kept and shielded from the trial. If at times the way seems dark we need to remember that the tunnel is simply the short cut to a desired destination. The greater the conflict, the greater the victory; the more intense the temptation, the more glorious the deliverance.
Jesus plainly told us that “in the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33); but He also added, “be of good cheer: I have overcome the world;” thus He meant to encourage our faith, assuring us that His victory over the world was the pledge of victory for all who would trust Him. No, He does not always shield us from temptation: “But He giveth more grace,” and in His own good time, and in the very best way, makes a way of escape, so we may be able to bear it.
We may be “more than conquerors through him that loved us” if we will put on “the breastplate of faith,” and carry “the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;” for we “are kept by the power of God through faith;” and “by faith ye stand” (1 Thess. 5:8; Eph. 6:16; i Peter 1:5; 2 Cor. 1:24). “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation” (Isa. 59:19; 2 Peter 2:9).
“In every condition — in sickness, in health; In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth; At home and abroad; on the land, on the sea– As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
“The soul that on Jesus still leans for repose, I will not, I will not desert to his foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”