"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)
Okay, so I'm going to confess my downfall right here on the blogosphere (Or is it technically in the blogosphere?)! Anyway, I'm quite embarrassed to admit this. Today I gave into a ridiculous temptation! I obviously was not practicing my Proverbs 31 womanhood...as "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Well, first I was eating the bread of idleness. Yes, even with laundry and dishes to be done and papers to be graded, I was just sitting...idle. I flipped on the TV. There was nothing on of any interest, but coming up in the next 10 minutes was one of my favorite talk shows. I went ahead and changed over to that channel. There was a soap opera on...one that I had watched in my younger days, before my walk with the Lord brought the conviction and wisdom of Paul's words, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Well, I saw a familiar face...a little interesting drama...and I was hooked. Not only was I idle, but I was "watching the affairs" of another household!!! (Can I just say that some of those people look the same as they did over 20 years ago...and some, well, they don't!)
After I watched that 10 minutes, I thought, "Nothing has changed. Twenty some years later I tuned in to see the same stories being played out over again." That brought a verse to mind. (Yes, God recaptured my mind...and "provided a way out" (1 Cor. 10:13) and redeemed the situation.) In Ecclesiastes 1:9, we read, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
And here's the encouragement in that. Whatever we face...whether it is temptation or circumstances that seem to be overwhelming and spinning out of control...it has been faced before (and will be again) and we can have victory! We must remember His Word, remember His promises, remember His faithfulness. "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4 (NIV) Oh, that we just turn to His Word and realize the hope! Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV) says, "Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep His commands." The heights and depths of His love are far greater than we can imagine. He is our God, and we are His children. "God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." 1 Cor. 1:9 (NIV) He will carry us through, and we "can do everything through Him who gives [us] strength." Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Abba, Father, Help us to remember the hope that is in You. Help us to remember Your covenant of love to us. Help us to remember Your faithfulness...that reaches over thousands of generations. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endure forever!