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. I Corinthians 10:13
“Oh Joni, isn’t it wonderful that God will never test us beyond what we can endure? That’s a promise from God!”
I knew my friend Sue was looking for an affirmation, a confirmation that God would never “bend the bruised reed.” As I nodded slowly, relief flooded her features. Sue had never faced the kind of mind-bending, soul-obliterating pain that now loomed on her horizon. But with the recent medical report and the looming prospect of a morphine-drip pump in her future, she was scared. Surely the Lord won’t give me more than I can bear, she was thinking.
First Corinthians 10:13 is certainly a promise… but it isn’t talking about trials. It’s talking about temptation. The promise is that God will always, always give you the power to say no to sin. But when it comes to heartaches, physical problems, and disappointments—things out of your control, difficult circumstances suddenly thrust upon you—you may very well be overwhelmed beyond what you can bear. There is a kind of suffering that rips your world apart and leaves you bewildered and wounded. There are trials that overwhelm.
I drew a deep breath, showing my friend the context of the promise—and her brow furrowed. “But take heart,” I told her. “It’s when we are at the end of our strength… that’s when we fall helplessly into the everlasting arms of God. That’s when God floods our hearts with sustaining grace.”
You and I may indeed find ourselves overwhelmed at times—at the end of our rope and beyond. But we will never fall farther than the palm of his hand. And where he has called us, his grace will sustain us.
Gracious Redeemer, I want to trust in you fully NOW, so that when the waves of trials come, I will trust in you THEN.