“No test has overtaken you that is not common to all people. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the test will provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
We are more familiar with the translation of the above text that reads “no temptation.” The word Paul used, however, means any kind of test. If we limit the work only to a temptation to sin, then we miss the larger context Paul intended. Yes we all struggle with sin to a certain degree, but the tests come in all shapes and sizes, and they certainly appear to overtake us at times.
You know the feeling. One problem seems to diminish only to be replaced by two others. You feel the strain of the test. You wonder if you can endure it.
This text teaches us that in times of testing we must rely on God’s faithfulness. Getting through a test is not simply a matter of your being stronger. It is a matter of trusting that God has provided what you need and will further strengthen you to endure it. He will see you through.
Trusting in God’s faithfulness is the most necessary but perhaps most overlooked aspect of the Christian life. We place a great deal of emphasis on our effort. We strive, we persevere, we run the race, and believe we can do all things through Christ. Good! Wonderful! But the greater truth is that our little faith is met by a truly great God.
Oswald Chambers provides a wonderful illustration. “A saint’s life is in the hands of God is like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says—‘I cannot stand anymore!’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly.”
God does not protect you from all tests, but He does transform the test. Your test serves God’s purpose of making you complete. God will not let you be stretched beyond your strength. Your single task in life is to trust yourself to Him. Trust that He will make you stronger than you are presently. Trust that He knows what your finished life should be. Trust that He will enable you to endure the strain you presently feel. God is faithful! You must be trusting.
Dr. Terry Ellis
October 22, 2012