It is common to hear within Christian circles that God would never let us go through a trial or to suffer something which we cannot handle.
But, this is NOT what Paul says.
Instead, Paul says that God would never have us experience a temptation that we could never overcome…
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Paul DID NOT write…
“No trial has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you suffer beyond your ability, but with the trial he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
As a new creation in Christ, we now have the ability to overcome temptation by the power of the Spirit which dwells in us. This is why Paul says in the very next verse… “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthians 10:14)
The point is, since God “…will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,” you must then do what you are now capable of doing… “flee from idolatry.”
When we flee from idolatry, we then avoid sin… and when we avoid sin, we then avoid adding to the suffering around us.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (ESV)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
Question – Are you of the ministry of reconciliation (which includes the alleviation of suffering), or are you of what I would call the “ministry of suffering” (which does not)?
Godspeed, to the brethren!
This blog was inspired by a sermon given by my close friend James Grossi. Click here to listen.
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