052313: More Than I Can Bear


I hear it said all the time that “God will not put on you more than you can bear.” This sentiment is usually expressed when a person is going through exceptionally hard circumstances like a serious physical illness, financial reversal, or a death in the family. What is meant by the statement is that God is the author of the struggle and He has brought it to pass in your life, but He knows you’re strong enough to handle it. Well, that’s a nice thought, even a comforting one at times, but it’s not a Biblical idea.

The scripture that spawns this erroneous idea is 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “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” (NKJ). In context, this scripture is part of a discourse in which Paul is talking about the mistakes made by the children of Israel in the wilderness. He has just finished saying that they all saw all the wonders God performed in securing their deliverance, yet they allowed themselves to fall into all sorts of evil. To that Paul says in the preceding verse, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Read I Corinthians 10:13 again. It says “no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man.” The things we face are just the things we face. This verse has nothing to do with how we should handle things after we are in the negative situation. This verse is talking about how we’re supposed to handle the temptation itself. All of us will be faced with temptations – lures and enticements – and these are common. Satan is throwing these out at all of us every day. “But God is faithful” and His faithfulness has provided a way for us escape every one of these traps. There is not one trap we are not able to turn away from if we would but use the escape hatch God has provided for that temptation. For example:

  • If we’re tempted by sexual immorality, the escape hatch is to run in the opposite direction.
  • If we’re tempted by money, the escape hatch is to refocus our attention on the things that truly satisfy.
  • If we’re tempted to be snide with our husbands or wives, the escape hatch is to submit to one another in the fear of God.
  • Etc.

You see, no temptation can be presented for which God has not provided a way of escape “that you may be able to bear it.” The “it” at the end of that sentence refers to the temptation, not to the trial you get yourself into if you yield to the temptation.

So the next time you want to comfort someone about their trial, choose a different scripture. Use I Corinthians 10:13 when you need to tell a friend she can avoid the problem in the first place.


©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!



~ by sanewriter on May 23, 2013.

One Response to “052313: More Than I Can Bear”

  1. Everyday will be sunny, if only you believe.

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