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1 Corinthians 10:13

Misquote: God will not give you more than you can handle

Introduction

The Bible is filled with stories of people who face things they cannot handle.

Suffering Embraced

The Bible is mostly about people whose faith in God not only does not prevent their suffering but a lot of times actually causes their suffering. They never console one another by saying, “God won’t give us more than we can handle.”

  • The Disciples (Acts 5:41)
  • Paul (Acts 9:16)
  • Hebrews 11: Real people given more than they could handle. v.35ff

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The people God uses seem to have little concern about how much suffering they endured as long as they had a cause worth suffering for and a Savior worth suffering with. We have a cause worth suffering for and a Savior worth suffering with.

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The Actual Text: (I Corinthians 10:13)

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

  • Paul’s message is NOT:  “Expect minimal suffering because God won’t give you anything you can’t bear.” Instead he’s talking about temptation. i.e. “Don’t let yourself rationalize sliding into sin because God will not allow temptation to come your way without providing a way out for you.”
  • Temptation is serious.  It has the power to undo you – by convincing you that you are just an appetite that has to be gratified.
  • God will not let you be tempted without giving you a way out.

Have I let temptation into my life?Have I flirted with it?

Excursus: The Lord’s prayer: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

  • Does God tempt us?  No. James 1:13
  • In the Bible people are led by God into situations that would test their faith.
  • Everyday provides temptation.
  • What Jesus means is this:  Pray that the temptation does not take us in. ie. Hold me back from stepping inside the temptation. Deliver me from this evil that is set before me.

What God will give you:  2 Corinthians 1:3ff

  • He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.
  • God uses us to bring the comfort and healing and hope that we receive to other people.

A community of courageous sufferers: 2 Corinthians 1:8ff

  • Shared pain creates a community that untroubled triumph does not.
  • The question is not what I can handle; the question is what God and I can handle. 

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It’s not that God won’t give you any more than you can handle, but that God will help you handle whatever you’ve been given.

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How God comforts

  • Through prayer, through the Scriptures, through music, and through others

The Ask

Identify your deepest hurt and bring it to God.

  • “God, who might I be able to help this week, who is suffering in an area where I have suffered?”

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