This is a guest post by a wonderful Christian lady, Arlene Machado. (bio below)
How many times have you said to another who was going through a trial, “God will never give you more than you can bear”? Many times that has been said to me and I wept before the Savior, “Lord why can’t I bear this heartache?”
I perused I Cor. 10:13 and the Lord revealed the statement is misquoted, along with that came a joy in suffering, knowing HE bears the cross for me! My heart longs to encourage you to rethink before you (mis)quote this verse to a wounded saint.
When Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane in agony He said to the Father, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42 We know CHRIST did not sin. The agony that lay before Him in the flesh seemed more than He could bear yet He viewed the cross and afflictions “…and His sweat was… great drops of blood…” Luke 22:44.
Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, cold and in prison, and he bore these extreme times of physical pain, because Christ was with him and carried the cross of Paul’s suffering. In 1 Thes. 3:3 Paul said, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” Trials, afflictions, and heartaches are unavoidable for God’s people and should be anticipated by strength received from the WORD of GOD.
Often I’ve wondered as a mother, how Mary the mother of JESUS could have stood at the foot of the cross as her Son was crucified? It surely was more heartache than Mary could have borne! Was it her love that kept her on Golgotha’s mound, while her strength came from the FATHER? “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, …” Ps. 84:5
When the trials in my life have been more than I could bear, there was a time when I viewed them in my humanity and life was not worth living; but as my faith has increased and more heartache has pressed upon me, I’ve come to view the trials as HIS battles and HE will carry the load which I cannot humanly bear. Often in my anguish now, I sing, “The battles not mine, said little David, Lord’s it’s thine…” and my perspective changes and I can turn the pain into HIS hands.
What is I Cor. 10:13 referring to?
It is the difference between a ‘temptation’ and a ‘trial’. Paul was talking about temptations in I Cor. 10:13, he was not talking about trials. Trials can be more than we can humanly bear! Trials do bring us to the end of ourselves, until we find our only strength to take one more step in HIM alone. People ask, “But, aren’t temptations & trials the same?” I would like to challenge that thought!
A temptation is the act of being tested to sin; it’s the act of being enticed. We know from James 1:13 that GOD tempts no man. Lust within a person and Satan without, tempts a person to sin; but GOD is faithful; HE will make a way to escape all temptations.
A trial on the other hand, is a testing for trustworthiness; 2 Tim. 4:3 says we must “endure afflictions”, a trial is an act that the LORD puts in our pathway to reinforce and to refine us as believers, so that we may come forth perfected for the Master’s use.
- In a temptation we must turn away. In a trial we must endure.
- A temptation is to cause you to sin. A trial is to strengthen and draw you closer to GOD.
- When we succumb to a temptation we defy the Name of GOD. When we walk through a trial, allowing Jesus to carry our cross, His Name is glorified.
GOD truly will not allow Satan to tempt you more than you can bear without a way out; but GOD may place upon your back a cross that is far to heavy for you to bear and only with HIM will you find the strength to press on.
Should the time ever come that we are sawn asunder or burned at the stake, I firmly believe it will be our GOD who will give us the courage to be faithful. For when we have walked where we know it wasn’t humanly possible to walk, we will say, “It was GOD. It was all GOD. He walked ahead of me and I followed HIM. It was never me.”
O to be “more like JESUS” with “none of self”!
In my lifetime of heartache, the one thing I know is that GOD IS LOVE and we can never out love our LORD. I rejoice in my trials for they have given me a heart of empathy for others. My parents divorced when I was 7. My mother is a woman of great faith. My daddy is an alcoholic who I have feared from little up. I love and honor both of them with all my heart, and praise GOD he delivered me into their arms. My husband came from a very abusive alcoholic home, lightly sprinkled in the Catholic beliefs. He served in the US Army. After years of marriage his sexual addiction was made manifest. We have 4 children; one resides next to the FATHER. Our two sons have one desire and that is to be affirmed by their earthly father and have also decided to pursue US Army careers. Our daughter has suffered greatly from a mother who abandoned her at a critical time in her life, to save her marriage instead of finding through the LIFEGIVER the strength to live for the souls of my children. My daughter left home at 17, married and had a baby at 18, divorced at 20 and battles her own demons. I’ve battle depression most of my life and have been preserved by the grace of GOD from 3 suicidal attempts. My life is one of complete and utter dependence upon my ABBA FATHER, fasting and praying for those dearest to my heart on this earth, my husband, my children, my granddaughter and my daddy.