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Have you ever heard anyone say: “God won’t give you more than you can handle”?
And it’s usually quoted as though it is a Biblical promise.
In reality, it is neither Biblical nor true.
But there’s both good news as well as bad news to be had in destroying that myth – especially if destroying it scares you.
Adages like this one, while sounding spiritual and containing a nugget of truth, most often spring from mis-reading or misunderstanding Biblical passages.
The first thing to note in this verse is that the subject is temptation to sin – not life in general.
God DOES promise that we will not be tempted to sin, whatever sin that may be – beyond certain limits.
This is meant to give us comfort that He has made provision for us regarding the sins we face – no matter how severe the temptation may be.
The second thing to note is that the sentence in our text isn’t simply “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.” That’s just the first half of the sentence. The second half includes 2 more things:
a. He will provide a way of escape from the temptation.
b. But that way out isn’t the removal of the temptation, but rather – “That you may be able to endure it.”
And here’s where the good news kicks in.
God the Father, is so good and gracious to His blood-bought ones, that He never allows them to be subjected to any trial, temptation or tribulation – but that He is absolutely confident we can overcome and benefit from: Through the counsel of His Word, the power of His indwelling Spirit, and the exercise of our in faith in utterly depending upon Him.
It is true we won’t be tempted beyond our ability – but that ability depends on our listening to the counsel of God’s Word, and depending upon the indwelling Spirit of Christ for strength we do not have in ourselves.
This is a promise which is only available to those who have been born again – not to mankind in general facing trials in life.
And it is a promise regarding facing our sin so that we will not be discouraged in fighting it.
When it comes to facing trials in general – like the current Corona virus, the truth is we are often confronted with things that are too much for us.
As Paul will note in 2 Corinthians 1:8 when he was afflicted in Asia “we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself…but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
As Believers we know we have the presence of Christ with us always; the truth of His Word; the prayers of our fellow Believers and the intercession of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Given these things – truly, we will not face any temptation to sin for which there is not provision – if our ability is found in Him.
And then, in facing all of life’s trials – when we too are in fact burdened well beyond our strength – can learn better to rely not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.
Let that soak into your soul today Christian.
God bless – and God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.