1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
After Franklin Graham committed himself to Christ, he was surprised to find his taste for cigarettes was strong as ever. He determined to quit smoking, but three days later, he awoke with an absolutely overwhelming—almost terrifying—desire for a cigarette. I wanted to smoke so bad that I couldn’t think of anything else. It intensified with each passing minute. Throughout the day, the yearning for a cigarette grabbed me like the jaws of a junkyard dog.
He finally shared his struggle with his friend Roy Gustafson. “Roy, I quit smoking, but I don’t think I can hold out. I just don’t think I have the power to say no any longer.”
“Oh, you don’t, huh?” replied Roy, looking up from a hamburger. “Why don’t you just get down on your knees and tell God He’s a liar?”
“What? I can’t do that!”
Roy quoted 1 Corinthians 10:13 to him, then said, “You need to tell God He’s a liar. You claimed that verse and it didn’t work.”
“I’m not going to call God a liar,” said Franklin. “Besides, I haven’t claimed that verse yet!”
“You haven’t?” said Roy, sounding shocked. “Why don’t you, then?”
Returning to his room, Franklin knelt beside his bed and prayed, “Lord, I’ve been wanting a cigarette all day. I don’t want to smoke again, but I don’t know if I can make it through this day. Will you take this overpowering desire from me?”
Though the desire didn’t cease, Franklin’s ability to resist it grew. Only once did he slip, on a flight the next day to Athens. I lit up and took several puffs. Instead of the usual satisfied feeling I would get, the cigarette left a bad taste in my mouth. I snubbed it out, wadded up the pack, and threw it on an empty seat.
It was his last smoke.
May we claim the promises of God this week in our fight against temptation.
- Bro. Dave