“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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In these words, God has given us an extremely powerful three-fold source of encouragement for times of fiery trial!
First, it should be noted that the word translated “temptation” in the King James Version actually has a broader sense than our English word “temptation” usually carries. By “temptation” we generally mean “being tempted to sin.” In the Greek, however, the meaning is bigger. It does include the idea of being “tempted to sin.” But it also includes the idea of “time of trial” or “time of testing.” The word is peirasmos. It is the same Greek word used in 1 Peter 4:12—
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
The First Word of Encouragement
First, He tells us that there is no trial that we may go through but such as is “common to man.” There are times when we feel that no one can possibly understand what we are going through. We feel that we may not be able to make it, because we’re having to endure what no one else has had to endure.
God is saying, in essence, “I know that what you are going through is very hard. I know it may seem unbearable. But you need to realize that others have gone though very similar trials. I enabled them to get through it. I will get you through it too!”
When we are going through a fiery trial, it can help enormously if a friend can lay his hand on our shoulder and honestly say, “I know this is tough. I’ve been through something very similar to it. I didn’t think I could make it. But God got me through it. I know He will do the same for you.”
But even if there is not a specific friend around who is able to say those words to us, this verse reminds us that there are indeed others out there who have been given grace by God to get through similar trials. He helped them. He will help me.
The Second Word of Encouragement
Secondly, God assures us in this verse that He will not allow us to be tested “above what we are able.”
How often we feel that we have reached the end of our rope—when we really haven’t. How often we feel that we can endure no more—when we really can. You see, God is the One Who knows us better that anyone else possibly could. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows how much we can bear. He knows exactly which “straw would break the camel’s back.” And He promises that He will never allow that much testing to come our way.
When we are tempted to cry out, “Oh God, I can’t take anymore!” He gently reminds us of these words. “I will not allow you to be tested above what you are able to bear.”
The Third Word of Encouragement
Finally He promises that He “will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
There are those times of trial when there seems to be absolutely no way out. It’s as if we had been pushed into a room with no windows and no doors. We can see no hope whatsoever of getting out. In those times, He says, “I will make a way to escape.” At just the right time, in just the right way, He will open the door.
It is not easy to remember how limited our vision is when we are staring horrible circumstances in the face. It is not easy to remember that we have a Father who is bigger than any horrible circumstance could ever be. It is during these times when we must force our gaze away from the circumstances and onto God. As Peter Lord has said so well, “Most of us tend to gaze at our circumstances and glance at God now and then. We need to reverse that. We need to gaze upon God and glance at our circumstances.”
It is during times like these when we must cling to His promises knowing that however bleak the circumstances might be, He will certainly see us through!
God raised up Winston Churchill to lead Britain through the darkest hour of her history during the Nazi invasion in World War II. All hope seemed to be lost, but he refused to allow them to give up. Eventually God gave them victory over their demonic Nazi enemies.
Later, Churchill was invited to give a speech at a boys school which he himself had attended as a boy . When it was time for him to speak, he walked to the podium and spoke these words, slowly and with great emphasis, “Boys, never give up… Never give up… Never… Never… Never… Never.” And he sat down. I’m sure every person in attendance carried vivid memories of that moment to his dying day!
When you are going through the fiery trial, let this verse be God’s way of giving you three powerful reasons why you should…