Tribulations: How Much is Enough?

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (I Corinthians 10:13 NASB).  

God has promised that He will not allow any trial to be more than we can handle.  The question is, how does God do this?  Does He limit the temptation or increase our ability to endure?

The commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “for either our testings will be in proportion to our strength, or strength will be supplied in proportion to our temptation.”  In other words, he will either limit our trial according to our ability to endure or increase our ability to endure consummate with the level of the temptation.   I am not sure how others view this, but I think I prefer the first scenario over the second one.   Unfortunately, at least in my own life, it appears God may lean toward increasing our perseverance rather than eliminating the source of our trial.

The Apostle Paul despaired even of life (II Corinthians 1:8-9 NASB).  What was God’s purpose?  He was learning to trust in God.  Often it is only when we come to the end of ourselves (our ability to cope) do we find out that God is sufficient.  “Our extremity is God’s opportunity” (Matthew Henry).  Anytime we reach the end of our ability to manage a crisis, we find out that God is there.

How much is too much in relation to trials and temptations?  God answers this question, not us.  On almost every occasion, I told the Lord I couldn’t do it anymore; I was wrong.  I found out I could.  God knew me better than I knew myself.  The period between feeling like I couldn’t and knowing I could, was a time of transition from self-sufficiency to a God dependency.  It is not rocket science, my friends; God gives us the experiences we need so that we will not trust in ourselves but in Him.

Pray with me.  Lord, give us the grace to endure our trials.  We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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