Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
When facing temptation, our most significant vulnerability resides in the place between our desires and God’s provision. It is here where we are most prone to stop short, quit, or give in.
We resist being dependent upon anything other than ourselves. During those times when our faith wanes, and we begin to question God’s faithfulness, we rely on our strength to deal with the struggles before us.
If we’re not careful, we will wander in the wilderness, in the space between God’s promise and the Promised Land. We spend our days drifting from one thing to the next. Drift is the natural direction of our thoughts, attitudes, choices, and actions.
Left on its own, our heart will head in whatever direction leads to our needs, wants and demands being met in the way we see fit, and according to the schedule we have laid out. We will do what we’ve always done, even if it leads to frustration, struggles, and regrets.
Focus is required to deal with the drift. But, focus entails more than just paying attention. To obsess about clarity only paralyzes us. This doesn’t mean that clarity isn’t necessary, but instead, that clarity is increasingly nuanced and understood in the journey as part of the process.
Focusing also involves leaning on God and displaying enduring dependence. Temptation ends in one of two ways, by either indulging or resisting. The way out isn’t to satisfy our cravings or even for us to suddenly be ushered out of struggles into something more wholesome. The level of temptation we face does not determine God’s faithfulness.
We tend to define God’s faithfulness by how He gets us out. But, we see His faithfulness when we depend on Him to get us through. Instead of looking for Him to prove His faithfulness, we need to learn to rely upon it.
- What direction do your thoughts, attitudes, choices, and actions head toward when left on their own? How would you describe your “drift”?
God, help me to pay attention to the condition of my heart, especially when I encounter temptation. Let me focus on Your faithfulness when everything in me wants to give in or give up. May I rely on Your strength and power to deal with my struggles in a way that brings You honor and displays my trust. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.