Journal Entry ~ 04/23/19

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 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 10:13, ESV).

When suffering enters your life, you don't just suffer what you're suffering, you suffer how your suffering.  In most of our trials, temptation is a trap we set for ourselves, rather than a scheme devised by Satan. We want it to be his fault, but we know from James 1:14-15 it is most often our fault: each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire, when it is conceived, gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.

Temptation in our trials happen when we allowing the wrong kind of thoughts and attitudes into our minds, then dwell on them and look for ways to justify our thinking. How do we battle this? 2 Corinthians 10:5: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." There are two keys to overcoming these temptations in our thinking: first, realize God has given us control over our thoughts - we can choose what we thinking about; and second, we must know Scripture -- it must be stored in our hearts because it is the perfect standard against which we are to compare our thoughts.

Paul Tripp lists 3 of the most common temptations in our minds that lead to trials:

1) Doubting God's goodness - where is God, why would He do this to me?  When you question the goodness of God, you stop going to Him for help - you won't go to someone you don't trust for help.  In the moment when you need him the most, you won't turn to Him.

Doubt questions the goodness of God.

2) Worry - we beat ourselves us with questions we don't have the answers to. Worry is forgetful, it forgets that you are not in this suffering by yourself. Recognize that it is impossible for you to beat this by yourself and stop worrying. Stop assigning yourself a responsibility you don't have - you don't have the ability to work through this by yourself. Worry is God-forgetful, and it assigns to us responsibilities we don't have.  

Worry questions the presence of God.

3) Envy - this is the belief that God sometimes gets a wrong address. Envy longs for the life of someone else - it doesn't long for God, it longs to exchange places with someone. 

Envy questions the wisdom of God.

The temptation in our suffering is never the situation or circumstance - it’s our thinking. You never just suffer the thing you're suffering...you suffer through the thinking that the suffering brings into our lives.


Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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