Use the Key
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 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. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say—1 Corinthians 10:12-15.
“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… ” Faithful to provide a way of escape. What comforting words to know when we feel like we can’t take any more—when our burden is so heavy we begin to crumble. He’ll provide a way out, an exit. But we have to use it. And we have to recognize it.
John Bunyan wrote a book called Pilgrim’s Progress back in 1678 that remains one of the best allegories of the Christian life ever written. At one point in the story, he tells of two characters named Christian and Hopeful who were walking along the King’s Highway and stopped to rest in a field belonging to a giant named Despair. The problem was they fell asleep; they got complacent. And it wasn’t long before they were found and taken into a place called Doubting Castle. Here they were beaten, deprived of food and water, and left in the darkness to die. (Ever felt like that? Where you got sleepy in your faith only to wake up in the worst possible circumstance?) In fact, the giant Despair even suggested they commit suicide to just get it over with.
In the midst of discussing the possibility of suicide with one another, Christian remembers he has a key in his pocket called Promise. It is a key that will open any door in Doubting Castle and provide the way of escape—if he’ll just use it. When he finally uses it, the key works and they find that doubt and despair give way to promise every time.
I find so much truth in that little story. How many times do we find ourselves in the pit of doubt and despair? We know of God’s faithfulness in the past but for whatever reason, we are stuck in that prison until the Holy Spirit or another brother or sister in Christ reminds us of what we have in our pocket—the keys of promise. God promises that He has everything under control. All things work for the good of those He loves. And the promise of verse 13 above is always available: He will provide a way of escape. We just have to use it.
In what areas of my life have I given doubt and despair a foothold?
What “keys” or promises have I forgotten to use?
Prayer – Father, I know You allow trials and temptations in my life to mold my character and strengthen my faith. Help me to know You always provide a way to escape temptations and always are available and want to go through trials with me. Forgive me when forget I always have the “key” if I will just use it. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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