Vol. 4, No. 10
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In 1 Corinthians 10:13 there is found one of the most comforting promises that can be found anywhere in all of the Word of God. The passage reads as follows from the NKJV: "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." As we look upon this passage and see the assurance that we receive from being the children of God that temptation, trial or testing will not overcome and destroy our relationship with God, we take note of the fact that the reason this is true is because "God is faithful."
It is a truly wonderful thing to live for a God who is faithful to his commitments to his children. The word that is translated "faithful" in this passage of Scripture comes from pistos, and when used with reference to the God of our universe, it means "faithful, truthful, trustworthy." God is the One Being in all the universe upon whom we can utterly depend. (When we speak of God, we are speaking of Deity which includes the Son and the Spirit.)
Men may make promises, and they may keep those promises, or they may not, depending upon how they feel or what they are thinking at the time. But God is not that way because he is faithful. He is utterly and completely dependable because among those things that are impossible for our God, it is impossible for him to lie, even inadvertently (Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, I can depend upon what he has said in his Word, and never have to fear that our Father may be "trying to pull the wool over our eyes."
In the passage under discussion, the apostle Paul made the promise that God would not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to bear. If that is true, and it is, then that means that there is no temptation that can bring us to sin if we are aware that we are being tempted. The "tempted" in this passage means "a trial, a calamity, or an affliction" and the word "allow" in this same context means that God simply will not permit any trial, calamity or affliction to be greater than we can bear. But the question comes to one's mind as to how is it possible for God to make it possible for us to bear the trials, calamities and afflictions of life? The answer to the question is found in the very verse from which we study. When the temptation (trial, calamity, affliction) comes, it is God who makes or provides "the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Two important concepts come to mind when we read this part of the verse. One is, what is the apostle speaking of when he mentions a way of escape? He is simply talking about the fact that God finds for us a way out of the testing, trial, calamity or affliction. Every way that can be conceived of by the mind of man to escape temptation has already been thought of by God, and since he is so trustworthy and dependable, he has given those ideas to man through his undying Word. We may have to search to find it, or it may come to our minds through the instrumentality of memory from study that we have done in the past, but God sees to it that if we want to really escape some temptation that we will be able to do so, or at least that temptation will be "downgraded" so that we have the ability, literally in the passage, the power to overcome the temptation.
Some afflictions, trials and testings must be borne. For example, there are various kinds of physical disease that we contract, and we may have to spend a lifetime dealing with that affliction. From what source do we get the strength and the stamina to do so? God gives us that power to do what we have to do in order to spend eternity with him. Suppose that one has a temptation to sin which comes back to him/her again and again throughout life. From what source will the person find the power to overcome that temptation as often as it comes upon him? He will find the ability in the One who is faithful, that is, it will come from God himself, so long as one truly wants to live without being involved in that sin.
Man may lose the strength to stand against the trials, calamities and afflictions of life by himself. But so long as he depends upon God for his strength, he has an unlimited source of that strength. Did not the Psalmist say, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble?" (Psalm 46:1) Therefore, we should learn to "Trust in the Lord with all your might, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). Let us take God at his Word, and allow him to help us through the trials, afflictions and calamities of life.