At the Crossroads of Temptation

Michael Beck

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matthew 4:3)

So often temptation comes as a common-sense way of escape from a difficult situation. Satan is a master at offering us a “quick fix.” But while our physical, emotional, or mental distress may be temporarily relieved, where does yielding to temptation leave us spiritually?

We don’t know how Jesus escaped the dire situation in the wilderness. But we know that God provided Him a way of escape different than Satan’s. We are given a blessed promise in scripture: “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 Cor. 10:13)

To bear or endure temptation is a sign of love for God. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12) Such fidelity wins us a crown. Jesus left the wilderness victorious. He saw beyond the suffering of the moment to the reward that awaits the overcomer. He returned to the world of men with fresh power. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.” (Luke 4:14)

Whenever we face temptation we are at a crossroads. If we only “mind earthly things” the choice is easy. Why resist? What have we to gain? But if we value what God values, and desire the rewards He promises to the faithful, we will not take the easy way out. Although we may not see it in the present, we will trust Him to provide for us a way of escape that we might remain steadfast.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.