Summary: We all face temptation, but God has promised that regardless of what the temptation may be that we face, He will make a way of escape. Temptation does not have to destroy us; we don’t have to fall into the trap of sin. WE CAN ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION! #3
THE GREAT ESCAPE – Escape From Temptation
Temptation is a thread that joins us all together as human beings; temptation levels the playing field! We are all susceptible to its attraction, and we can all be equally devastated when we yield to its seduction. Some of the biggest battles you will deal with in your life involve overcoming temptation. The best policy when you give in to temptation and sin is to quickly repent and admit you’re wrong and set a new course of action.
ILLUSTRATION: The wrong approach to failure is demonstrated by the little boy who was caught eating cookies out of the cookie jar after having been told he could not have any. His response to his mom; "I really wasn’t going to eat any mom, I just climbed up to smell the cookies, you didn’t say I couldn’t smell them, and while smelling them somehow my teeth got caught on several of them and the cookies wouldn’t fall off!" – Source Unknown
• James 1:12-15 (NIV)
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
• 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
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.
We all face temptation, but God has promised that regardless of what the temptation may be that we face, He will make a way of escape. Temptation does not have to destroy us; we don’t have to fall into the trap of sin. WE CAN ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION!
James shows us that temptation often begins though:
I. EXTERNAL TRIALS
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial . . .
A. James tells us to persevere, to remaining steady.
1. The phrase translated "perseveres under trial" in the NIV can also be translated "enduring temptation." (KJV uses this)
2. “Trials” in verses 12 is the same Greek word peirasmos that is translated as "tempted" in verse 13. Literally these trials or temptations can be thought of as TESTS. God uses trials and temptation as a test to prove our character.
ILLUSTRATION: When the Union-Pacific railroad was under construction an elaborate trestle bridge was built over a large canyon along the route connecting St. Louis and California. Before opening it to traffic the bridge was put to a test. A train was loaded with extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload, then it was driven out into the middle of the bridge and parked there for a whole day. One worker complained, "Are you trying to break this bridge?" "No," said the engineer. "I’m trying to prove that the bridge is unbreakable." – Source Unknown
3. While God uses external trials for the expressed purpose of building our faith and character HE NEVER tempts us to sin!
4. God allowed such external trails to prove Job’s commitment and faithfulness. God allowed Satan to test Job, these were “external” temptations ... coming not from within Job’s heart but coming from Satan’s schemes. Job was tempted to give up and not trust God, to “curse God and die,” but God knew the condition of Job’s heart. In all of his trials Job did not sin against God.
5. When external trials bring temptation we are to remain steady and endure! These kinds of temptations or trials are to prove our character, not destroy it!
B. When we persevere through the external trials of life we receive a reward
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
1. External trials bring the rewards and satisfaction that comes from victory over such trials!
2. The rewards of resisting temptations include the freedom from the many consequences of our sin. While God will forgive our sin, we still have to live with the consequences. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV)