Getting More Than We Can Endure

March 27, 2012


No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

This is an absolutely amazing verse of Scripture. The promise that is found in it is so refreshing!

The problem that I find though, is when people quote this Scripture they take it completely out of context. It seems like everyone likes to look at 1 Corinthians 10:13 to remind themselves that God is faithful and that He is present. And both of those things are good and true and found in this verse.

It is when they say things like “Don’t worry you will never face a situation that you can’t handle.” Or maybe they come out with “Wow, I’m really sorry you went through that terrible situation, God must really think you can handle a lot.”

Excuse me?!

First, if that is how you respond to someone going through a rough situation in their life, then maybe you should take a clue from Job’s friends who just sat quietly for a while with him.

Second, this verse is not talking about facing difficult situations. This verse does not promise that we will not face terrible troubles in our lives that we may not be able to handle.

This verse mentions temptation. You see, we all face temptation every single day. We are tempted to sin and rebel against God. That temptation looks differently for every person on this planet. Sometimes it comes upon us so strongly we just do not see anyway out.

We feel like we have to give into the sin because the desire is so strong and oppressive.

But Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians there is a way out! He says no temptation is new. People have been facing the same sins throughout human history. Perhaps the mode of that temptation is different but it is still the same sin trying to press in.

Not only does he say people have been facing the same sins since the beginning of time but he also says that God is faithful and will provide a way out. Now that is awesome!

When we are in the darkness and we are completely lost. We feel the only thing we can do is give into the sin we have been struggling with for our entire lives. But God is there and He wants us to see that He has given us a way of escape.

This is where memorizing Scripture comes in handy. See, when Jesus was tempted by Satan, He quoted Scripture to overcome that temptation. Psalm 119:9-11 goes like this: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.  With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”

That is the message we find in 1 Corinthians 10:13. God has provided a way out of sin. We really can live righteously.

And maybe sometimes we do face situations in our lives that are too difficult for us to handle, but that is why we have the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ. But that is a lesson for a different day.

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One Response to “Getting More Than We Can Endure”

  1. […] Getting More Than We Can Endure […]

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