A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

March 9, 2014

1 Corinthians 10:13

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.

     This Scripture speaks so strongly to me this morning.  I have heard from, or am aware of, so many people who are suffering from health issues, financial problems, oppressed spirits, doubt, worry and fear... or in my case, and to a lesser degree, all of these.  Believe me, I am not making light of what we are undergoing.  When it is happening to you, it overshadows everything else in your life.  You feel as if you are surrounded by darkness on all sides.  Imagine a forest so dense and thick and impenetrable that you think you will never find the path out of it.
     Perhaps that's where you picture yourself today.  But I want you to remember that, as Christians, we should not be taken by surprise when hardships come: Jesus warned us, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).  It's just that as American Christians, we have led a relatively comfortable existence -- and I praise God for that!  But I would also say that it has made it harder for us to rely on our faith when these hard times come.  I know that I have to remind myself that faith is where I am to turn when my world comes crashing down.
    So, now I would ask you to meditate upon the Word, and what this particular verse promises us.  It gives us so many assurances of what we can expect as we go through whatever trials are besetting us.  First of all, you might not think that what you are undergoing is a "temptation".  We, in the Western World, think of temptation as something that attracts us, or something we desire.  And of course cancer, tumors, money problems and worry are never anything that we would want.
     But in the Hebrew, "temptation" means "a testing"; and in Greek, it means "a putting to proof through adversity; a trial".  So what the Apostle Paul was trying to teach the Church at Corinth, and which is equally relevant to us today, is this:  Whatever you are experiencing, while unique to your life, is a normal condition of being a member of mankind, and is nothing that our sovereign God is not in control of.  He knows you, because He made you --- every hair on your head --- and He knows how much you are able to withstand.  These "trials" come with the territory of our fallen state, and unfortunately will touch each of us at some point in our lives.  
     There will be those who will interpret this passage differently and see a God that is cruel; a God that is testing us by bringing adversities upon us.  But notice that important phrase, God is faithful.  That means He is "trustworthy" or "loyal, constant and steadfast".  He is by our side and He will never allow us to experience more than He knows we are able to face.  In fact, if you believe in Him, He has prepared you for this exact moment! 
     We are also told that even though we cannot escape the trials, tests and temptations that are a part of our fleshly experience, our faithful and trustworthy God does provide us with a way to escape the burden of whatever befalls us. And we should find comfort in this truth!
     This means of escape is the Power and Grace that He gives each of us to endure and get through our afflictions.  It is His power and His grace -- we must never think that we can rescue ourselves!  Remember that God is Omniscient; He knows everything.  He knows our strengths and what we can bear.  He will provide our escape path -- either deliverance from our trial; or the strength to get through it and to endure it.  We cannot fail if we hold fast to Him and take His path! 
     A word of caution:  We may not always get the immediate results we desire.  But never think that you have failed "the test".  God's purposes and knowledge are beyond our understanding, but He is faithful to those He loves, and we just have to keep clinging to His Power and Grace.
     And do not listen to the world and the temptations of Satan, who is whispering in your ear, "You cannot overcome this", or "You don't need God to get through this.  You can do it on your own."  That path will only lead you further into the dark recesses of the forest.  Instead, hold on to the One that you can trust.  He is Jehovah God, who is faithful to shine His light through the darkness and show us the way to His side.  It may be a slow journey, but by taking one step at a time, you can escape this overpowering darkness and enter the light.  Turn to Him in your hour of suffering!

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