“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

In this world you will have trouble.

Jesus didn’t say we might have trouble, or if we have trouble. He said we will have trouble. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when it comes our way.

Every day, we struggle with something…grief, worry and anxiety, addictions, finances (good and bad), natural disasters, family riffs, and pure evil.

Some trials come from our own choices, while others are completely out of our control. But every day, we are tested. And in that testing, we face temptations and a choice. Do we turn to our own strengths or do we lean in to God and rely on Him?

In this time of testing, Satan will temp us to go it alone. Isn’t that what he did in the Garden of Eden when he made Eve think she could be like God? (Genesis 3:1-5)

And in the wilderness, after Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan tempted Him with food, protection, and power. (Matthew 4:1-11)

Eve gave in to temptation. Jesus did not. Jesus leaned in to the Father, quoting Scripture and putting Satan in his place.

Satan will do anything he can to keep us from all God has planned for us. He knows our weaknesses, and he’ll tempt us in our reactions to the trials in life. He’ll even try to tell us that God is the one Who tempts us. And He’ll make us wonder where God is when everything is going wrong.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. James 1:13-14 NIV

God does not tempt us. In fact, God promises to stand with us and show us a way out of temptation.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

That doesn’t mean God will give us an easy out. He may take the temptation away, or He may give us the will to not give in to it. Either way, He will use the time of testing to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him.

Some will turn away from God instead. As humans, we want what we want, and we don’t like when we can’t have what we want. In frustration, anger, and maybe desperation, some will give in to the temptation to believe that God isn’t there with them and doesn’t care.

It’s the greatest lie of all because God is here with each of us, and He does care, more than we can ever fathom.

In this world, there will be trouble and temptation, but God takes His precious time to show us a way out of what tempts us. He uses the storms in life to show Himself to us even more. And He promises to bring good from anything we face.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

But…if we turn away when the waves threaten to overtake us, we’ll miss all God has to give…including His help to get through and rise to the surface again.

In Christ,