1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Today’s verse is one many of us are quite accustomed to hearing. Though we often hear it with a misunderstanding, or being applied incorrectly. We often hear little quotes like “God never gives us more than we can handle” and other similar feel-good quotes. Yet, that’s not what the Word of God actually teaches! The Word here actually says, “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” and then explains with the following: “but will with the temptations also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” So what does this actually mean?
Many times people will apply this to tribulations we go through. When the enemy attacks us, and we are in the valley, surrounded by the darkness and the voices of condemnation and hurt from friends and family and loved ones, we like to think “God won’t allow me to go through anything I can’t handle!” But does the Word of God teach us that? Not at all actually!
There is a difference between trials and tribulations vs. temptation. Sometimes they go hand in hand, but they are not the same thing. Today’s verses speak of temptation, not tribulations and trials. Temptation is when we are tempted to disobey the Lord. Tribulations and Trials are the hardships we inevitably face while walking in obedience to the Lord! Today’s verse isn’t saying “God will never give us what we can’t handle,” But rather “God will never let us be tempted more than we can handle, but with the temptation will make sure we have a way out of that temptation!” Do you see the difference? It’s important that we see the difference, because if we don’t we risk being overcome due to our blindness to the promises of God!
God’s promise to us in this verse, is that we will never be powerless to temptation. Oh, Praise God!!! Yet be careful not to read this one part of the verse and leave out the WAY we are not powerless. If we simply read “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” and then stop there we may think to ourselves, “I’m able to handle any temptation, I can bear it on my shoulders and not be affected, and can always resist the temptation that comes against me!” If we think this way we can get ourselves into a good deal of trouble, and are surely soon to give in to temptation that we were never meant to stick around and fight against! Instead, read the second part that explains what God does for us in order for us to deal with the temptation:
“but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,” The way the Lord never allows (the word “suffer” means “allow”) us to be tempted above that which we can handle, is because with every temptation He MAKES sure that we have a way to ESCAPE that temptation! Elsewhere in the Word of God we read that we are supposed to FLEE temptation, and lusts, and the like. Nowhere are we told to run toward temptation thinking “I can handle this,” or when it comes up we stand there and resist, and keep standing there seeing who has the harder head. Trust me, if you stand there putting up with temptation long enough it will wear you down, I guarantee that! That is why we are told to ESCAPE temptation.
I’m reminded of when I was growing up. The Lord would often warn me about going down this or that path in life and tell me “don’t do that, because you’re going to face temptation,” or “prepare yourself, the enemy is going to tempt you” and you know what I would do? I would say in my heart, “Thank You so much for telling me, I got this!” and I’d prepare myself for a fight to resist temptation, and would walk down that way and face the temptation with a puffed out chest thinking “I got this!” Is that what God told me to do? NO! He warned me to flee/avoid/don’t go there to the temptation at all! Never, are we ever told to face temptation as though we are stronger and can withstand such things in our own strength. Instead we are always told that we can and should, escape the temptation!
That’s an example of what NOT to do. There was another time when I was at work and was tempted. My memories come in flashbacks, as though I am reliving them. This made me truly hate and almost fear any sort of memories or reminders of my past. Thankfully the Lord delivered me from that, but before that deliverance, there came this time. I was at work when memories and temptations hit me so hard I physically fell to the ground and lost the strength in my legs to stand up. I cried out to God, with the usual “Why, Lord, why am I this way? The world itself isn’t even tempted with such things!” and so forth. But then after a few moments of whining to the Lord, I put my big-boy pants back on and took hold of the Word of God and said, “Lord, Your Word says that I’ll never be tempted more than I can handle, but that you will make a way out of the temptation! Right now, I seriously don’t see the way out, but I trust You, and know that You didn’t lie when You said this!” The instant I said those words…the temptation lifted from me like a ton of bricks being taken off. I stood back up, and heard the Lord say “That was the way out.” He taught me that many times, the way out is simply acknowledging the Word and trusting His Truth! We often look for a golden door to go through for escape or an audible voice from the heavens, while we overlook the way out right before us! We people tend to overly complicate things, don’t we?
Let’s remember though (and this can be difficult at times) that when temptation comes we are not told to stand there and struggle with it for minutes, hours, days, and weeks or more, trying to fight against giving into it while thinking this is what the Word of God says we can do! No, the Promise from the Lord is that we are never left without an escape! Don’t stick around temptation, giving it an opportunity to wear us down. When we are tempted, we can and should escape it! If you don’t see that way of escape…PRAY! Don’t you know that you are allowed to pray when you are tempted to sin?! Trust in the Lord and as you pray you’ll find that He will show you the way to escape…even perhaps when your choice to pray at that very moment…is the way to escape that He provided!
Oh, and the subject of God never letting us go through trials and tribulations that we can’t handle…that’s another subject for another time! But just consider this . . . in order to grow we must be challenged with more than we can handle. That is when we run to the strength of the LORD, because we ourselves cannot handle it. So, don’t let the devil rob you of overcoming simply because he gets us to not understand God’s Promises!
I love you all dearly and I continue to pray for you daily. Please keep me and the rest of the Body of Christ in your prayers as well! May God continue to bless you mightily, and I will see you again next time!
Love always in Christ,