Tuesday, 21 January 2020
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
How do you react under extreme conditions?
Ricardo Visurraga, Ambassadors for Christ International's National Director of Peru, recently drove his car up to Cerro de Pasco, a mining city of about 70,000 people in the Andes Mountains. Cerro de Pasco, perched at an altitude of more than 4 kilometres (14,000 feet) above sea level, is one of the highest cities in the world. In high altitude, atmospheric pressure is much lower than normal, there is less oxygen for breathing, and the air is intensely cold. Even for Ricardo, who is accustomed to living at an altitude of 11,500 feet in the Mantaro Valley, visits to Cerro de Pasco are difficult.
This was the first time Ricardo had driven his car up to the city-usually he travels by bus. When he arrived at his hotel, a policeman told him he couldn't park on the street-the intense cold at night causes cars to freeze up so they can't be driven. The policeman referred him to a covered garage facility nearby. Talking with the hotel manager, Ricardo learned there are no regular gas pumps in Cerro de Pasco because the intense cold causes ordinary petrol to liquefy. The manager's suggestion was to leave the car at a lower altitude and return by bus (which runs on diesel fuel).
Just as the physical properties of substances change under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, human beings often respond very differently when they are under great pressure. This pressure may come externally through loss of health or financial security, or personal attacks and betrayals. Or it may come from within through the stresses caused by fear, hurt, frustration, failure, or perfectionism. Under the pressure of these extreme conditions, we may find ourselves more open to temptations of all kinds.
Jesus, on the other hand, did not give in to temptation under extreme conditions. On the cross, all that flowed from him was love and forgiveness.
Paul reminds us that, under extreme conditions, God is still faithful and he always has a way for us to stay true to who we are in Christ. Next time you notice you are responding badly, giving into temptations to be untrue to the Lord or unloving to those around you, will you turn to him for the way out?
For the iPhone app and more from John North and Ambassadors For Christ International, click here.