I pulled my favorite glass cup out of the dishwasher. It had just finished its rinse cycle and the cup was steaming hot. I poured cold milk into it and heard a faint but distinctive “crack.” I knew immediately what happened. Because of the extreme temperature difference between the steaming hot cup and the ice cold milk, the glass had been tested beyond its limits and had failed. It was now cracked and no longer usable. Sadly I trashed it. I should have known better! As I did, this Bible verse came to mind: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13 NKJV). The word for temptation means “experiment, trial, proving.” It applies to anything in our lives that God allows or arranges to prove and strengthen our faith and virtues. We can all identify unwanted, negative, even bitter experiences that have either drawn us closer to our Father or away from Him. His purpose for them is always to draw us to Him in submission and dependence, not away from Him.
This verse tells us five things: 1. While a trial may seem unique to us, it is common to mankind; we are not alone in our testing. 2. God is faithful, regardless of our level of commitment to Him. 3. Because He made us He knows our limits – what we can take. 4. He will not allow any trial to exceed our limits, like I did with my cup. He never says, “I should have known better!” 5. He always gives us an “escape route” – not to deliver us from the trial, but to deliver us through the trial. He wants us to experience the trial and come out of it victorious.
Why do we believe this? Because He loves us so much that He gave His Son to die for our sins so that we can have a relationship with Him as His children. As children, we need lots of training and discipline to make us like His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 12:10-11,14). That’s His purpose and goal for us.
By Tim Van Ryn
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org