Like Paul, I have no confidence in the flesh. Some of the godliest people I have known have failed God miserably. I think of the awful temptation and failure of David, a man after God’s heart.
David was sorely tempted, fell into adultery, lied and then murdered an innocent man. I’m sure that when the prophet Nathan exposed him, satan was convinced David was down for the count. He expected this man to throw up his hands and say, “What’s the use? I have disgraced God! I have sinned against the light and committed the very sins I’ve preached against. God can never use me now. My heart is too black. I have been overpowered by sin.”
How wrong satan was. Listen to David’s cries after he repented: “The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death” (Psalm 118:18). David said, “I was tempted and tried but God would not turn me over to satan’s power.”
Beloved, if the devil comes at you with powerful temptations, it is not always because your heart is wicked. He could be attacking you because you have turned to the Lord. He is bringing fiery trials of lust and temptation against you to try to destroy your faith.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12).
“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 10:13).
There is nothing at all strange about what is happening to you. You may be discouraged because the enemy has come against you like a flood. The attack could be through temptation, lust, marriage problems, a financial crisis. You may be saying to yourself, “Here I am trying to serve the Lord, doing my best to love Him and be faithful to Him. But things just keep getting worse. Is there something wrong with me? Why can’t I get out of this hole? Why do my problems keep piling up?”
I urge you to look to your right, to your left, in front of you, behind you. Everybody is going through something. Behind the smiles of your dear brothers and sisters in Christ are many tears. They are hurting with trials you know nothing about.
No, you are not alone in your suffering and your trial is not some strange, unusual circumstance. What you are going through is common to multitudes.