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Tuesday, March 08, 2011 | Comments (14)

I Can't Handle This!Maybe you’ve been reading the series “How to Slay Sin.” But while you know the Scripture lays out clear principles, all you can think is, It’s just too hard. Or maybe you’re not struggling with sin at all but rather a very painful circumstance—an illness, death, financial crisis, or conflict—that feels like it’s too much for you to handle. Whatever situation you’re in, God has a message for you.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

This passage has five hope-giving truths you must embrace in the midst of your storm.

1. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

You are not alone. You’re not the first person to go through what you’re experiencing. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, your job, your marriage, or your battle against sin, there are millions of people around the world and throughout history who have experienced essentially the same thing. This should give you an incredible amount of hope.

You’re probably thinking, What hope is there in that? The answer is simply this: common problems have common solutions. Your situation has details unique to you, but at its core it is just like what many other people experience. Scripture was written to people who were in many ways like us. They experienced pain and death; they had bad marriages and problems in church; they struggled with the same kinds of sin we do. Therefore, the solutions God gave them apply to us as well. Whatever your struggle is, the solution is in the Bible.

2. God is faithful.

No true Christian would deny God’s faithfulness. But maybe you’ve been tempted to wonder if He’ll be faithful to you. Make no mistake, “if we are faithless He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). God’s very character is at stake, and God will never be found lacking.

God’s faithfulness always overcomes sin and persecution. God promised His faithfulness to Israel, even after they’d committed unspeakable acts of idolatry (Ezekiel 16:59-63). God was faithful to David even after he sinned with Bathsheba. God was faithful to Peter even after he denied Jesus three times. God was faithful to Daniel in the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Sin and impossible circumstances are no match for God’s faithfulness.

3. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you’re able.

Whatever you’re facing right now, God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). It may not feel like it’s possible, but on the basis of God’s character and by His strength you can overcome your trial. Maybe you’ve observed others going through difficult times and thought to yourself, I could never go through that. The truth is if God placed it into your life, He would give you the grace to go through it. Whatever you’re experiencing now, God gives you the grace to endure it.

4. With the temptation He will also provide a way of escape.

This makes me think of the paratrooper dropped into enemy territory who needs to make his way back to safety. He has no trap door or tunnels to crawl through; he won’t be rescued by helicopter or beamed to safety. He has to find a way through enemy territory.

In the same way, God has provided, in every situation, a path for you to take. There is always a choice of roads to travel. When faced with the temptation to sin, you can choose to succumb or you can choose to resist and flee. When you are confronted with a difficult ordeal, you can succumb to despair and anxiety or you can endure with the strength He provides. Whatever your situation, God’s Word will light the way of escape and show you the path to follow to get you through the situation and out of enemy territory.

5. You will be able to endure it.

After reminding you your situation is common, God is faithful, and He will strengthen and guide you through difficult times, Paul assures you if you follow God’s path, you can and will endure. If you’re weighed down with the pressures of life, God may not remove the burden, but He will strengthen your legs to endure.

Think about it. The Bible isn’t only for people with simple problems—getting cut off on the freeway or plumbing issues. The Bible addresses all people and all problems, whether trivial (bad traffic, clogged faucet) or severe (life dominating sins, terminal illness).

The apostles had personally evangelized and taught many of the people to whom they wrote. Reading their letters you quickly realize people and churches had very difficult problems and they needed apostolic instruction. In fact, the Hebrew Scriptures were for New Testament believers what the entire Bible is to us—“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

So when you read 1 Corinthians 10:13, know for certain that no matter the depth of your temptation or trial, the Lord is faithful, He has provided your way of escape, and you can endure it.

G. Gabriel Powell
Web Programmer


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#1  Posted by Terry Burnett  |  Tuesday, March 08, 2011at 9:44 PM

Thank you for this biblical reminder and for being a great resource.

#3  Posted by Denise Lee  |  Wednesday, March 09, 2011at 5:51 PM

Thank you for the timely post! This is exactly what I need to be reminded of right now.

#4  Posted by Regan Bautista  |  Thursday, March 10, 2011at 5:19 PM

I Cor 10:13 says "Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry."

Isnt it that the context of the message in question is an anti-idolatry reminder from Paul? It will make things clearer wld it be if we are aware of that. No temptation to commit idolatry or just to become like the bad israelites is new. This urge is old, but God already dealt with it. He says it's wrong and sinful, and the only way out is worshipping Jesus alone and not the false gods. If not carefully explained, God's escape route seems automatic, but in the context, you are to be an active participant. You need to pass by the way cleared by God, the path of Christianity, biblicality, willful divergence from the anti-moses israel's lifestyle. If not, God will not automatically bail you out. Context dictates that the rescue of God is Jesus, His words, His approved and clear guidelines, not the magical powers that suddenly act up in temtation moments. So isnt it that the idolatry angle clarify the interpretation?

#5  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, March 11, 2011at 7:13 AM

Regan,

Yes, the context is the sin of idolatry. But the principle is stated in universal terms and is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Thanks for the comment!

#7  Posted by Benjamin Leclair  |  Friday, March 11, 2011at 6:24 PM

My wife and I lost my father a month ago in a sudden and unexpected heart attack. God saw fit to give us the responsibility of taking care of my disabled sister and mother whom my father had been primarily caring for. On top of that, after 7 years of trying to concieve a child The Lord brought us a beautiful baby girl to care for and hopefully one day call our own, just 1 month after Dad's passing through foster/adoption. The circumstances surrounding our baby girl being brought into this world are horrific. We are dealing with the constant scare of biological parents seeking to get their little bundle of money back. We have been so stressed in the past 2 months with everything that has went on but is is so glorious to be reminded of the promises of God here from 1 Corinthians. Even amidst all that has went on in our lives God has still made a way for us to make it through and for him to be glorified. We will endure to the end because His strength is perfect, and his power everlasting. Thank you for allowing Him to work for us through this blog.

#8  Posted by Jason James  |  Saturday, March 12, 2011at 3:20 AM

This blog has been very helpful to me over the last few weeks. I thank the Lord for the entire GTY staff.

#9  Posted by Ramon Covarrubias  |  Saturday, March 12, 2011at 2:49 PM

Thank you Gabriel for remind us this five eternal truths.

#10  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Saturday, March 12, 2011at 4:26 PM

Before I came to Christ. Lust was crushing me. I had no way out.

I even cry out to God but no avail. I even to the point of taking

my life 10 yrs ago. When I finally gave my sins up to Jesus. It was

like a sword cutting me and I pour out my soul to Jesus, that

moment was powerful. Jesus is awesome. I am still struggling with

the wounds of the past. But forgiving every moment is wonderful

and serious too. I meant important aspect of our life.

God bless.

#11  Posted by Steven Hals  |  Saturday, March 12, 2011at 10:09 PM

Incredible post, and right on time Gabriel. I find it amazing that I can read a Scriptute & "know it" and yet in times of trial or despair, forget some of the things I've learned in the past. I'm thankful for resources such as this for those times when I can be hard-headed. Sometimes I forget that God has given us solutions, often times before problems even arise.
#12  Posted by Bobby Bugg  |  Sunday, March 13, 2011at 5:22 AM

Thank you, and Thank you Lord!

#14  Posted by Eileen Harris  |  Sunday, March 13, 2011at 7:32 PM

#10 Dan,

I've been reading your posts over the last year and I feel that I've learned alot about you. I want to just say that you seem to have overcome alot in your life, and I feel that you are an inspiration to many people that read your posts. God Bless You!

Your Sister in Christ

Eileen

#15  Posted by Justin Lewis  |  Sunday, March 13, 2011at 9:03 PM

As stated above, I am very grateful for the GTY Staff being faithful to the Lord to deliver His Word with clarity and at the right time! Thanks and peace be with you!

#16  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Tuesday, March 15, 2011at 7:50 AM

I agree with you Eileen Harris, Dan has always been an encouragement to me. I love reading his posts.

I also would like to thank Tommy and Gabriel for the best series ever, on this particular topic of killing sin. I think this is one of the most important topics ever to be discussed on this blog. And both Tommy and Gabriel are very good writers, with almost a textbook quality to their words. I cannot express in words what a blessing this series has been to me.

I would also like to apologize for not getting back to one of the other blogs, as I was going to speak about sinner vs. saint to Greg Corran. I say this only because I don’t want to make people think I am not a person of my word.

February was a bad month for me. I lost my best friend (sister in Christ) of twenty years, who died of a heart attack. Then a week or so later, I was in a head on collision, totaled my car, broke my foot and have been praising the Lord ever since. I could have been injured even worse, and the man who was responsible, walked away without a scratch.

The reason I am praising the Lord so much is that this worked out to be an amazing opportunity to witness to others. I asked the EMT if he would please get my purse and a book I was reading out of my totaled car for me, it was “The Jesus You Can’t Ignore” by John MacArthur. I always carry a book or two in my car. When I got to the hospital, I put the book at the end of the gurney, so that all could see it. This book was instrumental in opening up a dialogue about Jesus. I spoke to two EMT’s, two Doctors, an X ray tech, several emergency room professionals, and two people walking the halls in scrubs, about the Lord. Some did not know John MacArthur (that is hard to believe), and some knew about Jesus. They now know about Jesus and John MacArthur’s wonderful teaching ministry.

So, praise the Lord, even when it looks bleak from our perspective, God’s purpose is always to the praise of His glorious grace.

Benjamin Leclair, post # 7, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right (Gen 18:25)?” This verse has always been such an encouragement to me. You are a true testimony to God’s love and faithfulness, be encouraged.

#18  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Wednesday, March 16, 2011at 9:27 AM

Thank you for sharing that. God bless.