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