If God Is So Loving, Why Does He Allow Suffering in the World?

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Overcoming Temptation

Temptation. Whether we realize it or not, it is part of our past, and it will be part of our future. The moment we resolve to stand strong and walk away is when temptation grows most intense. That is why Scripture is of paramount importance. God's Word contains the answer to resisting temptation before it's too late. Consider these verses:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full–grown, brings forth death (James 1:13–15).

Some people wonder about the value of the Old Testament in a Christian's life. The apostle Paul addressed that question in 1 Corinthians 10:11—"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition." To what things was Paul referring? He listed them in verses 7–10. They are idolatry, immorality, infidelity, and disloyalty.

Temptation is not sin; yielding to temptation is.

With that background, Paul exhorted believers not to make the same choices the Israelites made—not to provoke God's discipline by willfully sinning. None of us is above God's discipline if we engage in sin. We must look for and take "the way of escape" God provides in every situation where temptation is found (verse 13). To think our temptation is unique is to believe a lie. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man" (verse 13). There are no "new" temptations in life.

The apostle James argued that if temptation becomes serious, it is because we have allowed it to do so. Our own "desires" entice us away from God and desire "gives birth to sin" (James 1:13–15). God doesn't tempt us, but He may allow temptation to enter our lives in order to give us opportunities to make obedient and mature choices.

Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, and He took the same means of escape that is available to us—obedience to God's Word (Matthew 4:1–11; Hebrews 5:8). Temptation is not sin; yielding to temptation is. There is always a righteous choice to be made if we are willing to seek it.

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