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. 1 Corinthians 10:13b ESV
Temptation is a bit like the telephone solicitor who begins the call by exclaiming, “Don’t hang up! I’m not trying to sell you anything!” It doesn’t seem to faze them how many times we say, “no thank you,” or “I’m really not interested.” They are determined to sell us something that we don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford. Jesus warned us that in this world we would face all kinds of temptation solicitors.” So, the question is not whether temptation has our number, but rather, what we should do when it calls.
Today’s verse says, that when we are tempted, God will give us a way of escape. Escaping, conjures up in my mind a picture of flinging open the door and running away as fast as I can. But what God really wants from us is not a fearful footrace, but a cheerful acceptance. God has something far grander in mind than learning to grin and bear it. Jesus tells us to have joy because He has already overcome the problems we are in even before we face them.
“But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 b
So, I asked myself this morning. “What if – instead of complaining- what if joy was God’s plan of escape? What if, “For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross?” What if I celebrated, when I was mistreated? What if I praised instead of complained? What might happen if I chose joy and found, God’s amazing and mysterious way of escape? What if joy is the stream in the desert and a waterfall of life that flows by the path of faith God chose for me today?
4 thoughts on “What if Joy?”
It’s not just phone solicitors, it’s emails, texts, and “click bait” on line. There’s a “brief video” with no predicted length and no fast forward. We need not only strength to resist and turn it off, but endurance to withstand multiple “attacks”! The aim of most advertising (and any temptation, really) is to get you to believe you’re lacking something. You’re right, joy is a great antidote – specifically gratitude for what we have.
So right it is multiple attacks. I chose telephone solicitors because they get through to even the offline folks. Joy is not how I imagined God’s plan of action to be but it is everywhere in the Bible (see Paul and Silas singing at midnight) God’s joy lifts the curtain on His next plan of action in our lives.
You’ve made some great points here, Pastor Pete. None of us should think we are above temptation. It’s not IF but WHEN it comes that we should be concerned about. The joy of the Lord as an escape plan, wow, what a great idea! Brother, this stuff will preach!
Go ahead and take that pass and run with it Dave!