"... And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."1 Corinthians 10:13
Hebrews 4:16 is one of my favorite verses, reminding us all that we can come to God and “receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” I usually think of it in the context of my own sin and coming to God for forgiveness. When we have sinned and need forgiveness, that surely qualifies as a “time of need”!
It is stunning, indeed, that the Lord gives mercy and grace when we sin, but His gracious presence and help are even more comprehensive than that. Instead of coming to God for help only when we have sinned, we can come to Him for mercy and grace even before we sin. Times of temptation are times of need, too.
You may recall the words of James 4:7: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Think about the first part of that verse which says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.” No one will find victory by simply gritting his teeth and saying over and over, “I will not sin.” Place yourselves once again firmly under God’s control and let the power of His grace work through you.
I told Satan to get thee behind
Victory today is mine!
(W.B. Walbert, Adger M. Pace, 1927)