I will keep the law given by God, sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth, so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane, quite insane, with my veins running fire and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, forgone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my foot.
-Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)
This excerpt from Jane Eyre struck me when I first read it. Like all others, I have felt the pressures of temptation, and like all others, I have fallen to temptation. When life is calm and easy, I am willing and even excited to obey God's commands, but the story is quite different when I am faced with trouble. In our times of weakness, it can be difficult to follow that which God has told us to do, whether it be following through with a commitment, not doing something you know is wrong, or trusting Him when struggling with pain or fear. However, God did not create laws for those times when it is easy to follow them; He created laws for the times when it is difficult, painful, or even scary to follow them. He created laws for times when we are being tempted to refrain from doing something you know is your duty, participate in an action, behavior, or thought you know is wrong, or trust in yourself or in the world instead of putting your faith in God. As humans, we are prone to error, and God knows it. For this reason, He offers us His strength in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). God always provides a way out of temptation, but because of our sinful nature, we can't reach high enough to pull ourselves out of the hole. Thankfully, He is always there, offering His hand and ready to pull us out--all we have to do is accept it.