“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NKJV)
If you can do it on your own, you don’t need God. If you think you can do it on your own and you ask God to take a back seat, you’re likely to fail. We need God’s guidance, His help every step of the way, as Paul makes clear in this section. His comments about temptation should guide all of us. He reminds us that temptation is universal. We’re all tempted. There are no new temptations, no matter how much technology and society have changed. The face of temptation may have changed, but the ultimate temptation is to put ourselves over and above God. In the midst of all the different ways we may be tempted, God provides a way to break the chains of that temptation – even when we’ve begun to give in. The key to overcoming any temptation, though, is to depend on God who does provide that way out.
There’s a common myth perpetuated by Christians that God will never give you more than you can handle, and this is the passage that’s often cited to support that view. As noted earlier, if you can handle everything on your own, you don’t need God. I believe God gives us more than we can handle all the time. I believe that we face temptations that are beyond our ability to resist. It’s because of those difficulties and temptations that we’re forced to turn to God. God provides the escape. God provides the strength to endure the unendurable. God gives us the strength to do those things we know we should do, but don’t believe we can. There’s no miracle in life if we can handle everything because God doesn’t give us more than we can handle; the miracle in life is found when we overcome our doubts and fears and accomplish amazing things that we never thought we could do because of God’s help.
Lord, help me to face that which I can’t handle. Provide the escape from temptation that I need. Give me the strength to overcome an impossible task. Help me to love the person that’s most unlovable to me. Remind me that You grace performs miracles every day in my life and in the lives of others.