Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Has God Promised?

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Has anyone ever used 1 Corinthians 10:13 to encourage you through a difficult time? I hear it quoted all the time in response to trials, “God will never give you more than you can bear.”

My response is an emphatic, “OH YES HE WILL!” God has often given me way more than I could bear! Now, hear me out. I know that the word used for “temptation” in 1 Cor. 10:13 can also mean “testing” or “trial.” But if you look at the context, you’ll see that it is more about temptation and sin than it is about the trials of this life. Either way, as I see it, God often asks us to do things that we are completely incapable of doing--on our own.

What God did promise was that He would walk with us, strengthen us, refine us, give us peace and draw us closer to Him through our trials. That’s His main purpose, to help us to know Him better and realize our utter dependence on Him. If He never gave us more than we could bear, how would we ever learn that?
That’s what my trials have taught me, and frankly, I’m thankful for that lesson (though I'm afraid it will take a lifetime to  learn it completely.) I sure wish there was a better way, in fact, I’ve pled with God for another way. But I can do that “‘til I’m blue in the face,” as my mom would say. I can also become bitter and angry because of my trials, or I can see them as opportunities for transformation. Since I can do nothing to prevent many of my trials, I’ve decided to quit pleading for a different way and instead, plead with God to help me use my trials as opportunities for transformation.

God, help me to learn my current lesson so I can move on to the next one! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life banging my head against a wall, looking for a better way when I could be allowing You to change me a little more into Your image.
What God Hath Promised

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!