"Ye May Be Able to Bear It"
- I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
A dear missionary’s wife was conversing with my wife about her trials. This Christian lady had sadly come to the false conclusion, based on her own rough missionary and life experiences, that God was wrong in our text. She now believed that God does allow trials too hard for His children and that believers are not able to bear the deep struggles of life. What she thought has been intimated by a number of defeated Christians through the years. Dear reader, please give this physically unhealthy, beaten-by-life preacher a chance to reply to these negative thoughts:
- – #1 Never ever put your experiences above God’s Word and never ever interpret God’s Word from your experiences. Feelings and experiences are deceiving. God’s Word should always define and interpret your feelings and experiences, not the other way around.
- I John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
- vs. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
God’s Word is not “grievous”. The word “grievous” means too weighty, heavy, or burdensome. God promises in the next verse (vs. 4) that “ whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” Are you saved/“born of God”? Then you shouldn’t be under the circumstances but above them. You say you don’t feel very excited or victorious? You say your experiences tell you that the Christian life is hard and burdensome (“grievous”)? You, dear reader, are defeated because you are living on feelings, emotions, and experiences. The verse (vs. 4) revealed what is the victory: “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
No matter how bad it gets or how bad you feel, you must believe God. Our text promises that “God is faithful.” You must trust God. “God is not a man, that He should lie.” (Num. 23:19) If you turn from God and His faithfulness, you have nowhere else to turn. No one else, yourself included, is trustworthy. God only is Life, and Truth, and Faithfulness, etc…! Victory is there, dear believer, but you must have faith in your God.
- Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
- – #2 Yes, in and of ourselves, temptation and trials are “above that ye are able.” However, the Christian life is “not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20) living in you. “Ye are able” because God’s “way of escape” is… Jesus! Remember?! You escaped the penalty of sin because of Jesus, and you escape the power of sin (whether temptation or trials) because of Jesus.
- – #3 “Ye may be able to bear” the trials of life only when you are yoked up with Jesus. To be yoked up requires “walking by faith” to Jesus and through Jesus with each choice that comes your way. When you are yoked up with Christ, “ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my (Christ’s) yoke is easy, and my (Jesus’) burden is light.” The Christian life is not just living for Jesus but also by Jesus. Christ’s yoke is “easy” and “light.” When the way seems hard, you have missed something about Jesus and His life since Christ’s yoke is “easy” and “the way of transgressors is hard.” (Pro. 13:15) Through Christ, “I can do all things.” (Phil. 4:13) Without Christ, “ye can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5)