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 (I Corinthians 10:13 NASB).
God has promised that He will not allow any trial to be more than we can handle. The question is; how does God do this? Does He limit the temptation or increase our ability to endure?
The commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “for either our testings will be in proportion to our strength, or strength will be supplied in proportion to our temptation.” In other words, he will either limit our trial according to our ability to endure, or increase our ability to endure consummate with the level of the temptation. I am not sure how others view this, but I think I prefer the first scenario over the second one. Unfortunately, at least in my own life, it appears God may lean toward increasing our perseverance rather than eliminating he source of my tribulation. Why do you think God does it this way? Let’s see of we can gain some insight by looking at an incident in the life of the Apostle Paul, a man pretty familiar with suffering.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life (II Corinthians 1:8 NASB). He was in pretty dire straights. What was God’s purpose? Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead (v. 9). He was learning to trust in God. The One who had raised the dead could do anything. Often it is only when we come to the end of ourselves (our ability cope) do we find out that God is sufficient. “Our extremity is God’s opportunity” (MH). Anytime we come to end of our own ability to manage a crisis, we find out that God is there.
How much is too much, in relation to trials and temptations? God answers this question, not us. On most every occasion where I told the Lord, I can’t do it anymore; I was wrong. I found out I could. God knew me better than I knew myself. The period between feeling like I couldn’t and knowing I could, was a time of transition from self-sufficiency to a God dependency. It is not rocket science my friends, God gives us the experiences we need so that we will not trust in ourselves, but in Him.
Pray with me. Lord, give me the grace to trust in You. In Your name, I pray.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing