How We Respond

by Chris D'Amico

Temptation, challenge and adversity are a part of life that come to us all. The difference between overcoming them and being defeated by them is how we respond. We cannot always stop adversity or temptation from coming, but we can determine a proper course of action before it comes. John Bunyan once said, “Believe that as sure as you are in the way of God you must meet with temptation.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 declares, “Wherefore let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

The Way of Escape is Open to You
Webster’s Dictionary defines escape as: to get away from confinement, to avoid the threatened evil, to get away, to slip away, to succeed in avoiding, to elude impending danger. In every test, trial or affliction, we must remember, God does not will that evil have the upper hand or control over us. He will always provide, along with the temptation, a way out, a way of escape, so you can be victorious! He will permit no test beyond your endurance. And when you are tested he will provide a way to endure! James 1:12-13 declares, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.”

Do Not be Overcome with Evil
Romans 12:21 tells us, “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” The Phillip’s translation encourages us, “Don’t allow yourselves to be overpowered by evil. Take the offensive, overpower evil with good.” The Amplified Bible says it this way, “Do not let yourself be overpowered by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.” If temptation comes in the form of discouragement, refuse to quit! If it comes in the form of injustice, counter with forgiveness! If we are tempted to rebel against authority, overcome through submission! One unknown author once said, “If you have been tempted into evil, fly from it! It is not falling into the water, but lying in it, that drowns.” Whatever temptation comes your way, remember you have the ability to overpower it and conquer! We master evil with good. 

Avoid Opening Doors to Evil
The best way to overcome temptation is to avoid the tempting situation. Proverbs 22:3 declares, “A prudent man forseeth evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” The BAS Bible declares, “The sharp man sees the evil and takes cover: the simple go straight on and get into trouble.” The New English Bible states, “A shrewd man sees trouble coming and lies low; the simple walk into it and pay the penalty.” If we are not prudent, temptation can come in through the doors that have been left open through lack of good judgment. Proverbs 3:7 reminds us, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil.” The Jerusalem translation admonishes, “Do not think of yourself as wise, fear Yahweh and turn your back on evil.”

Saying No to the Tempter and Temptation
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee form you.” The Basic translation says, “Be ruled by God; but make war on the evil one and he will be put to flight before you.” Cotton Patch tells us, “…put up a fight against the devil and he will run away from you.” Wuest translations encourages, “…stand immovable against the onset of the devil and he will flee from you.” The Message tells us, “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the devil and watch him scamper.” It is very evident that we have a part to play in resisting the tempter and his temptations. You can do it. You are more than a conqueror in Jesus mighty name!  

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