No matter the temptations, problems or circumstances:
1. Trust God as a refuge– “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” A The Psalmist said two things; trust Him all the time and pour out your heart to Him about your trouble or problem. Don’t hold back, but no matter what trust Him. At 80 years old I can look back on my life and see dozens of times that proved I can trust God. He has never failed me or forsaken me. He is very patient with me, loves me, knows me, knows what is needed in my life to accomplish His goal for me “to become conformed to the image of His Son” B Trusting God can allow us to “rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” C
2. God will always make a way of escape– “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” F We may not like the way of escape we have from a temptation or a problem. But, we can trust Him, knowing we will ultimately be with Him in heaven. Trust Him when the problem is a fact that cannot be changed. God told Paul about his thorn “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” G
3. Be thankful and receive the peace of God J— Problems can cause our mind to freeze up with frustration, anger, bitterness, or other manifestations of fear. The antidote is being thankful. The Bible is full of scripture asking us to be thankful including: “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” E We are to give thanks in everything, even the two wrecks I had recently. I was of course not thankful for the wrecks, but I was thankful that no one was injured and the damage to the 5 cars was relatively minor. We can always be thankful for something, maybe starting with His free gift of salvation and the believer’s glorious future in heaven. Also the verse said that it is God’s will for us to be thankful. Therefore, when we are not thankful but fearful, we are being disobedient.
4. Loving God and others never fails– God’s great commandments are “love God and others”! I Loving and glorifying God and others is more satisfying than temporary delights in the things and possessions of the world. Paul gave 16 descriptions of love– 8 negative–“Love is not jealous; love does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness,–and 8 positive–Love is patient, love is kind; rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails“; Loving God and others like this will help solve problems and provide an escape from temptations.
Trust in these promises every morning and we are ready to deal with temptations and problems as they appear during the day. Then follow a systematic approach to decision making or problem solving with God’s help. Identify the real temptation or problem, identify alternate solutions, select the best solution, implement it and constantly review, revise, refocus. The Problem Solving Cycle.
Footnotes: A- Psalm 62:8; B- Romans 8:29c; C- 1 Peter 1:8 NLT; E- 1 Thessalonians 5:18; F- 1 Corinthian 10:13; G- 2 Corinthians 12:9; H- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a [rearranged order]; I- Mark 12:29-31; J- Philippians 4:4-7;
Henry Luke 6/9/2017