“Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12+13/KJV).
The Christian life is not always easygoing. You receive God’s help in various aspects of your life. But you may also experience difficulties you would not otherwise have.
As you receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, and as you ask him for the forgiveness of your sins, you can get an inner testimony of being forgiven and of being a child of God. Yet as you begin to change your lifestyle and preferences not all of your friends and family will be necessarily happy about that. How is it that you now spend more time reading the bible, praying and attending Christian meetings?
Depending on your previous religious or ideological background some might even be severely opposed and upset about you having become a professing Christian. Nominal Christians may criticise you for, as they see it, having gone into some extreme. Atheists and Agnostics may despise you for having taken refuge to religious concepts.
Religious Jews may feel betrayed by a family member who begins to believe in Jesus. Moslems might even begin to treat you as an outcast, if you forsake their religion to follow Jesus.
God had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God had done many miracles until they could safely escape from the Egyptian forces. They had gathered together to call upon the God of their fathers.
Yet after they had crossed the Red Sea, and after the Egyptians had failed pursuing them they found themselves in the desert. God had promised to lead them into a land of milk and honey, but before that could be reached they needed to endure the unpleasant conditions of an inhospitable land.
The journey through the desert was a time of testing for the Israelites. Even getting food was not as easy as it used to be in Egypt. They were exposed to dangers that they had not hitherto known.
As you read the accounts in the Old Testament you find that many dark sides of the character of the Israelites became evident as they were led by God through the desert. They failed to understand God’s plans. They did not always value God’s provision.
Evidently many of them had followed God only outwardly. Due to difficulties and doubts they preferred to manufacture their own deity and to worship that golden calf.
Paul knew that Christian believers too are likely to face various obstacles and difficulties in their lives. You might also think of the words of the Lord Jesus to his disciples: “… In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33/NIV).
Paul refers to the Old Testament stories of how God was displeased with some of the Israelites in the desert. He says these stories were not given for us Christian to look down upon the people of the Old Covenant. These accounts are meant to be a warning even to believers in Jesus.
We too are not to make light of God’s blessings. We too are to watch out against idolatry. We must not give way to uncontrolled sexual lust. We are not to distrust God’s loving care.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12/KJV). Unexpected circumstances may arise and we may be tempted to commit some of the sins for which many of the Israelites were blamed as they were led through the desert.
A Christian receives forgiveness and new life in Jesus because Jesus has borne the punishment we would have deserved on the cross. It is not due to a Christian’s own efforts or to moral uprightness that he or she is accepted as a child of God. It is an act of divine love. It is undeserved grace.
Having experienced all this, a follower of Jesus may trust in God’s faithfulness. The Lord is able to take you through unpleasant circumstances and tempting conditions of life.
God is able to keep you. His love remains the same even as you become aware of some of the darker aspects of your personality.