Praying the Jesus Way – Part 5
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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
‘As we forgive our debtors’ (Matthew 6:12). Forgiving others isn’t an option, it’s an obligation. Being forgiven depends on forgiving others. Young Robert Louis Stevenson’s family customarily prayed the Lord’s Prayer before dinner. One evening he left the table before they reached the part, ‘As we forgive our debtors.’ Asked why, he replied, ‘I’m not prepared to pray that prayer today’. Recognizing his reluctance to forgive, he knew he couldn’t receive God’s forgiveness.‘ If you forgive men…your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not…your Father will not forgive your sins’ (vv. 14-15). No matter how badly you’ve been wronged, God requires you to forgive. ‘…Lead us not into temptation’ (v. 13). This seems odd in the light of God’s Word: ’‘When tempted, no one should ever say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone’ (James 1:13). Martin Luther says the Greek word used here for temptation means ‘testing’, as in the ordeals and trials of life. It refers to life’s stressful experiences. An athlete might use these words with his trainer, ‘Please don’t push me beyond my endurance!’ It calls for acknowledging three realities: 1) your human limits and vulnerabilities. 2) that God’s in charge of your testing. 3) that He wants you to ask for help and not try to handle it alone. ‘…God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand…He will show you a way out so that you can endure’ (1 Corinthians 10:13). He won’t just intervene on your behalf; He will use the experience to strengthen you spiritually.
Heavenly Father, help me to forgive others so that I can appreciate and receive Your forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen