Day 5: Desperation breeds defeat

Thought for the Day: “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)

I was walking through the airport when an incredible aroma suddenly grabbed my attention and taunted, “Do you know how happy I can make you?” A candy shop had just made a fresh batch of
nutty, caramel popcorn.

I felt my knees get weak, because I love caramel popcorn. I started to rationalize buying this special, thinking, “I can’t get this flavor at home, and I’ll take half home to my kids.” In that moment, a new truth God taught me during my healthy eating journey popped into my mind and saved the day: desperation breeds defeat.

In the book of Genesis, the Bible tells an interesting story about twin brothers who illustrate this point. The elder son, Esau, was favored by his father, Isaac, because of his prowess as a hunter. In contrast, the younger son, Jacob, was a quiet homebody. One day, Esau returned home from an unsuccessful hunting trip totally famished, and demanded some stew from his brother. “I’ll give you food,” agreed Jacob, “but first, trade me your birthright.” Esau replied, “Okay, I’m so
hungry, I’m about to die.” So Esau traded the honors due to him as the firstborn son for a simple meal of stew.

Upon first glance, it’s easy to ridicule Esau’s decision. I cannot imagine selling your whole birthright for a pot of soup. But I had to look at my own life and ask, “What great thing have I traded for so little in return? How often do I trade healthy food for junk food? What temporary pleasure have I craved so much that I gave up lasting victory?”

Desperation does indeed breed defeat. But God promises answers for desperate situations in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

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.

The “way out” that God provides is the ability to decide in advance what I will and will not eat each day. I plan my meals right after breakfast when I’m feeling full and satisfied. The absolute worst time for me to decide what I’m going to eat is when I’ve waited until I’m depleted and feeling hungry. So I prepare a healthy snack to have on hand or keep in my purse.

When I’m unprepared or I’ve rushed through a proper meal, my stomach screams for something quick. And quick options usually come in a variety of unhealthy temptations, just as I experienced at the airport. However, that day I had decided ahead of time that I would keep an apple in my purse for a snack, rather than trade my healthy progress for something like caramel popcorn.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that we should flee food. However, we must prevent the control that food can take over our lives. If we purposely begin to think before we eat, we’ll be better able to see the way out that God promises when we are tempted.


  1. I plan our meals, but I don’t plan for snacks while shopping etc. I need to do this, because that’s a big time when munchies hit and I have to get whatever I find available. Sometimes they have healthier things out, but on those spur of the moment buys, I don’t always go for healthy. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I’ve often heard that God will not tempt us beyond what we can bear, but no one ever continues the thought that He will provide a way out so that we can stand up under the temptation. What a beautiful thought! I’m no longer trapped with no escape from the desire – I just have to look around and God will provide another option.

  3. I don’t plan my meals specifically but I know what my general plan of eating is and I have those foods prepared and in the fridge ahead of time. I often take my healthy foods with me when I know I will be eating out and the choices won’t be the best for me. It is NEVER safe for me to wander through the mall or grocery store or even drive long distances without carrying healthy foods with me! I can SO relate to our poor brother Esau who traded his whole life for a bowl of something to eat. It seems that being hungry is often worse than death itself. I have to ask myself, “What is so frightening about being hungry?” Hmmmmmmm????????

    • I sooooooo understand that! Why is it that being hungry is so bad? In all reality it is probably good for us to feel hunger every now and then 🙂 I have gotten to the point where I cannot leave the house to run errands or go shopping without stopping for food at a fast food restaurant or a mall food court. The bad thing is, I have gotten my kids trained to expect food on outings. I need to work on that! I need to keep healthy snacks in my purse and eat them before I am starving! Once I hit starving…’s all over and the bad decisions take over ;(

  4. Just read my verse for the day and it’s perfect for this lesson. Hebrews 4:15. Check it out!

    • Great verse Sharon… thanks for sharing it. Somehow it seems easier to deal with a temptation when you know that Jesus really does know how we feel because he has been there too.

    • It is a great verse. I especially like that we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace for mercy and grace to HELP in time of need. Blessings…

  5. Wow, that is so true. I just baked pancakes and ate them wondering what difference it would’ve made if I had just waited for dinner. This 21-day challenge is really quite a challenge for me! The messages speak to me each day. I guess the point of the lesson is just this.. Don’t get desperate and resist temptation! Everlasting victory, here I come!

  6. Okay, so you have been a good girl for a while and then an unhealthy food occasion (planned or unplanned) occurs. You know full well that to eat this might cause not just one slip but might well be a full blown binge to come on….you eat it anyway! He gave you a way out but you eat it anyway. Now what????? How do you get over the oh, I blew it again, I can’t do this attitude, I’m such a failure, how can I just keep going against the promptings of the Holy Spirit! You’re never going to do this.

    • Don’t listen to the lies of your flesh or your enemy. Listen God’s truth! He loves you so very much and wants you to make it! Keep your eyes, heart and mind focused on Him and His great and deep love for you. Get desperate for Jesus! I do know it is not easy, as I battle emotional eating (because it is something I know I can control), but in my mind I know it is doable – to resist and run to God. I have to make up my mind to act and pray for strength in my inner man. I pray for strength for you in your inner man Colly, to make the right decisions and run to God. May you know His great and deep love for you and His presence with you always – every step of the way. May we all learn to acknowledge God/Jesus in all our ways, and allow Him to direct our paths! (Provers 3:5-6). In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    • I totally understand your situation because all to often it is mine. It’s like when you consider doing a new diet and all you can think is “Do I really want to ruin this one too? It will probably be just another one that I’m excited about in the beginning and stick with until the comprimise of wanting to do things “my own way” gets the best of me again.” It’s bad when you’ve lost the hope of being able to trust yourself. I know what it’s like to just get bored with doing the right thing and just get tired of plain old consistency. I like being spontaneous and all too often just do what I want to when I want to and hardly give a thought to the price! But, I am not giving up! Although I know the weakness and stinkyness of my flesh and human reasoning, God hasn’t let me be “okay” with staying where I’m at. I know if something is beating me over and over again then it’s an area of bondage. I know that God created me to be free – bound only to Him and the abundant life that He died to give me. He wants me to be confident in Him and in His power that is at work within me. He doesn’t want His kids living with any area of shame and defeat. God does not want any part of our lives to be a “testimony” to the devil! Nothing that threatens to defeat us should have final say over us. Our lives were created to be a witness to others that says, ” I’ve been where you’ve been, I ‘ve felt what you’ve felt, I couldn’t either, but …….. let me tell you about what God worked in me as I gave it to Him ……… let me tell you about the goodness of God ……… let me tell you about the power of God that freed me ………. He loved so much that He didn’t leave me in my place of defeat! So, I’m saying to myself as much as anyone reading this – don’t give up! If at first you don’t succeed try, try, again! Ask God to have His way in you and work His purposes in and thru your life. He made you to live free!!! Oh, and when the devil tells you what a failure you are – talk back to him! Tell him that you have been in your own strength! Then declare to him that you are God’s workmanship and you’ve submitted yourself to Him. Tell him that God’s power is at work within you creating His life and His consistency! Tell him that he’d better back up and shut up because God has empowered you for His purposes and that is his defeat! Believe, Submit, and Trust. I’m determined to run my race with perserverence and that God will have the final say in every part of my life. I was made for Him!

      • That is so true! I feel like I am in bondage to this saggy belly and extra weight. I know so many of the right things to do, but it is like my cravings completely take over when I am hungry and I am standing in the kitchen. My brain becomes numb and I dont think about what I should eat but instead what will taste good that is quick and easy. Ughh! Then once I have eaten that is when I get mad at myself for eating the wrong thing! Help me God!

      • Wow ~ Susan ~ I love how you write ~ This really hit home with me! These devotionals are a God send to me ~ and can be used and remembered in so many areas of my life. I just told my husband that I’m sure he feels so much better that I am now again a happier person, have once again beat away the depression that empowered my life ~ hiding myself from His glory and what He truly wants for me. The next day the devil worked through a loved one telling me what a failure I am ~ have felt it for the past day ~ I’m allowing the enemy to steal my joy ~ to steal my glory! Thank you for this post ~ I don’t usually read all replies on these incredible devotions ~ but God wanted me to read yours………………Bless you!

      • mary gerrity says

        Love this word from God! I am not to allow anything to have control in my life,
        other than the Holy Spirit…the power of God works in me!

      • Those are powerful words, Susan.–even in 2017. Thank you!

    • we are learning at our church this year to relax God is in control and nothing, not even messing this up can separate us from His love. He has a plan and He will get us thru.

  7. Sharon: Thanks for pointing out Hebrews 4:15. I never before related it to food/eating temptations. 🙂 I like what Charlotte said, too: ” Don’t get desperate and resist temptation!” That is good – Don’t get desperate. Let’s be desperate for Jesus. Reminds me of the song, “Breathe.” “I’m desperate for You, I’m lost without You.” Praise God! We have to keep trying. God does not ever give up on us! Ii am so very thankful for His ever-vigilant, undying love for me/for us! God bless you all!

    • I know I don’t want to give up, but I don’t want to be possessed by this all day long and with every waking breath. It’s like when I am losing weight I can’t lose it fast enough, and when I am not , I get depressed about how much I have gained back. And then I feel guilty that this is my battle when other people are battling cancer and sick children and much bigger things then weight loss. Help!

  8. The phrase “what have I traded for less?”. Hit home with me. I am really devoted to healthy eating.
    However, in the moments when I become really hungry, I will trade a day of perfect will-power in for anything Chocolate.
    This is particularly difficult since I am a Chocolatier. I have an entire pantry dedicated to chocolate.
    This works to my advantage at times. I am less likely to eat chocolate all the time since I know it is always available.
    I am also less likely to eat store bought cookies and save my calories for the really good stuff.
    However, when I attempt to stretch too far between meals…I am tempted, scratched that…..Called to these chocolate any things.
    The Junkier the better, think frosting filled cupcakes with frosting, not to be named.
    Once I eat one then I feel the defeat and think what does it hurt to have another.
    It is a snowball of guilt and calories! I have tried to compromise by keeping chocolate dusted almonds on hand, it works most of the time.
    When I am being tempted I will TRY to remember to ask myself. What am I trading right now? What am I gaining?
    Thank you so much!

  9. I have been trying to stick to not eating past 8 pm at night. This is the prime munching time for me, and it has been extremely helpful in cutting back unnecessary snacks.

  10. So often I have been like Esau, willing to sell my birthright of prosperity and health for a momentary satisfaction. I have an obsession for ice cream, so I will do everything I can to make it less accessible. If I want it, I have to plan for it. I keep fruits and vegetables in my house, and not ice cream. I make the healthy foods more convenient, and make the unhealthy ones less accessible.I will like you, begin planning my meals for the day so that I am not caught desperately desiring something unhealthy. I will sit down, thank God for what I have been given . I will take the time to enjoy the meal he has provided. I will enjoy his presence while I dine. When I eat out, I will look at what satisfies nutritionally rather than just what will satisfy my hunger.

  11. anonymous says

    O.K. I have avoided all processed sugar this week during the work week. I felt great.

    This weekend I ate a half a box of girl scout cookies and a half a pie!!!

    • Dear anonymous, I just wanted you to know that God knows and he loves you BIG! This study will help what happened on March 25, not to happen as often anymore and soon it will not happen, you are made for more than girl scout cookies and pie.

    • Don’t give up! I struggle the same way. Half the day I’m good, the other half….kaput! But now I say to my self, “What do you want Angela? The big want, not the right now want? Will this make you feel guilty later? Free your mind, transform your thought, God has given me a spirit of power, love and self-control. USE IT!”

      Most times this works! LOL For the times it doesn’t, I’m trying to think about the emotion I felt so I can hand it over to God. I never over eat just because. And after todays devotion, I will think about trading more for less, trading the connection with God and the Holy Spirit for junk. So not worth it! Be encouraged!

      • Thank you, Angela, for what you shared. I have struggled with emotional “cravings” including eating, shopping, excessive control over my kids, and crazy house cleaning/decorating all to fill this void and yuck feeling inside of me. I didn’t even realize I was doing it – I wasn’t seeing the cycle. I couldn’t figure out what was up with my struggles. I thought I was doing something wrong and yet again, I felt just not good enough. Yes, there was something wrong! I was being so deceived by the devil with his persistent lies. His lies made me feel really bad, so I would then turn to worldly stuff to “make me feel better.” My eyes have been opened since I read your reply…to just ask God to show me what emotion I am feeling or lie I’m believing when I’m struggling with temptation, then give it over to Him and walk (or run like crazy) away from the temptation. God has revealed specific lies I’ve been believing and “fighting” for so long. I have been able to search the Word and rebuke those lies with specific truths…it is not always easy, but by the power of God, it really does work!! This is a process, and it needs to continue every day, some days days a lot more than others!

  12. I loved todays devotion. WHEN IM PAYING ATTENTION, I do notice God providing a way out, sometimes what is in my hand falls to the floor or the HS really makes me question my hunger pains. Today along with Made to Crave devotions was another I get through e-mails, it was James 1:13-14 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself temps no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” THANK YOU LORD, thank you Lysa, If I dont have a plan the luring is stronger, the lies are even more deceiving. Planning is good! If you forgot to plan!??? Pick up your boot straps an try again! You go girls!

  13. I woke up this morning hungry and feeling like I didn’t want to eat healthy today cause it’s too much work. So I got out my journal, Bible, phone and laptop and turned on worship music. I started trying to switch my focus to God, make plans, and checked in with my accountablility team. My mood changed and I was doing well and feeling strong untill my daughter’s grandma showed up with a strawberry pie. I decided to eat one small piece but couldn’t quit after one…then I ate what my toddler left on his plate. So I hid it in the fridge out of sight and got on here. While I was reading all the stuff about God providing us a way out my daughter said she was going to her dad’s and I asked her to take the pie! It is gone and I am back on track! TYJ for the way out!

  14. This is a great reminder, thank you. God will provide a way out. I know this verse, but I forget the last part. I always find myself praying for God to lead me out of temptation, and this would be the “way out.” But no…God’s word says that He will provide a way out…that I can stand up under the temptation. Praise God! It occurs to me that I need to be focused and praying “okay God, I am tempted…now please show me the way out,” and keep my focus on that. The way out may not be complete deliverance, but He will always show me a way to stand up under the temptation.

    Thank you. Praise God for you.

  15. Shelly Leger says

    This is not the end. I am considered obsese and it seems like only a few months ago I made food my constant companion , excusing myself in my mind that I would “start over tomorrow.” I am actually in a relationship with food!! But what seems like a few months is over a year. I am now hypertensive and have high cholesteral for the first time in my life. I do not doubt God’s power for a minute. My doubt arises when I question can I give up this “pacifier”? Food is acutally how I have been surviving emotionally on and off for my entire life. Got to reframe this situation and lay my “Issac” down. Yes, food has become that important.

    • I can totally relate to the title “morbid obesity” because that is the title a judge gave to me in September of 2011 when I walked into a courtroom for my “disability hearing” at the age of 44. Because food had become an idol in my life at a very young age, I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stomach issues, and was more than twice my size. I was truly at the end of my rope, and felt utter humiliation at being labeled once again.
      Then I made a choice that forever has changed my life. I yielded myself to The Lord, asked Him to lead and guide me. I picked up the tools He gave me in 2007, and I have lost over 100 lbs, and am 50 lbs from my healthy weight! One day at a time, with God on your side, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Is it easy? No even close! Do we fall down and mess up and have a gain? It’s part of the journey! It’s not a sprint, a diet, a quick fix. This is a journey of a lifetime!
      God bless,

  16. I didn’t receive Day #4. Could I get that sent to me again? Thank you.

  17. Sonia Oglesby says

    Just a suggestion for all you ladies. I am composing a soundtrack that relates to each days devotion. It has helped so much with temptation. I want to be more, than snacks ! Closer to Christ each step of the way.

  18. I love all the comments along with the devotional. Thank you Lord! It seems when a pizza is sitting there with warm melted cheese or a tray of hot spicey wings…I actually can dream of them before they even get here when my husband orders them on weekends. I should be dreaming of God instead. There seems to be no control or force to resist…there is, though. It is sort of like a person with a drinking problem to only drink half of a glass of beer. So hard to take just a little. God knows I can make use of control, it seems so raw at this point but I hope someday control will be fine and I will not have to have so much of the foods that make me go crazy. I pray…God I should dream of only you and take mild bits of foods like described and feel full by YOUR LOVE. Please help make this happen for me sweet Jesus.

  19. Kelley Worley says

    I find it is necessary to prepare in advance for not only meals but snacks. I love the idea of having something on certain days of the week. Not depriving yourself is so important.

  20. I love this , I want to be art of it, How?

  21. Natalie M says

    I keep going over this book, this blog, keep coming back to it. I have tried many diets. I have spent large amounts of my precious time reading health advice from this guru or that expert, only to return more confused, defeated, and depressed as ever. So with the help of this book, the Bible, and info on how different types of food affects me, I choose those that will be most beneficial and I track them on an app so that I can lose weight. I have to say though, just like Lysa says, that you can buy all the diet books you want, use apps, visit dietitians, but if you don’t have God at the center of the whole journey, it is all for naught. I realize that I had sold my birthright and also prime real estate for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, for foods, and mostly ones that were not beneficial. I had sold my birthright as a happy child of God for a lie from Satan and I am fed up, and I know what Satan is up to now, I’m on to him!

  22. I’ts time to start focusing on “the way out.” I’m so grateful to live in a part of the world where fresh fruits and vegetables abound. I have clean fresh water to drink. Today I will focus on the bounty that God has provided instead of food that the world has processed.

    • It reminds me to continue I ally thNk HIM that I do have so many good choices to choose from and that I do not need to buy pre-packaged diet foods

  23. As one person said already the sentence that struck me most was what am I giving up for an immediate gratification. I have on more than one occasion questioned the older son in the story and wondered why would he do such a thing? It really hit home today when I thought of myself facing temptation and desperation. Thank you so much for the revelation. God’s continued favor and anointing on this assignment.

  24. Do you have any good recipes or suggestions for foods?

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