Good morning and welcome back again!
This morning we are going to be finishing our sermon series on “The Bible Doesn’t Say That!”
And like we have been doing for the past four Sundays, this morning we are going to be looking at one of those popular phrases we hear (AND SAY) that is not quite as accurate as we think they are.
And this morning we are going to be looking at the phrase “God will not give us more than we can handle.”
Who has heard that phrase this morning? Probably everyone in here.
Who has used that phrase? Don’t be shy raise your hands.
I admit that I have too! And of course it comes from , which is where our focal passage will be taken from this morning.
And, while you are finding in your Bible, I will say that most of us have probably uses the phrase “God will not give us more than we can handle,” before.
And we do so innocently, not really thinking about what we are saying or how it is subconsciously interpreted.
We say it when we are trying to be helpful, usually when someone is going through a rough patch or when they have lost someone they care about deeply.
We want to offer comfort to the person and sometimes we don’t really know what else to say.
And even though I’ve said it many times myself, when I look back and times when someone else has said it to me, it is really not as helpful as I have thought it was.
Because when I hear it, I immediately think two things.
“You have no idea what I’m going through,” and...
“Where is God at?”
And if we are going to be completely honest this morning, most of us think the same thing, but we do not want to admit it.
I am going to tell you this morning, GOD WILL GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE AND GOD DOES GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE.
And I also know that that goes against everything you have ever been taught and believe, so before you dismiss me as a heretic, let’s get into the Scripture and let’s look at it.
Again, we are in , and I will begin in verse 12.
Stand with me if you are able.
Paul writes . . .
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
So, now that we have read the passage, it sounds as if everything I just said goes against what Paul is writing here.
But I am going to tell you that it does not.
In this entire passage starting in verse 1 and going all the way through verse 14, Paul is warning the Christians there in Corinth about their spiritual condition.
And he is using Israel’s history as an example.
And without getting into an entire dissertation on the history of Israel, for our purposes this morning we know a couple of things about the history of Israel.
First, when Israel was obedient to God and trusted God, things went well.
Second, when Israel was disobedient and went their own way, things went bad.
Third, when Israel repented and returned to God, things returned to going well.
Fourth, when they turned from God again, things went bad.
Do you see the pattern here?
When Israel was placing their faith in God and following God, things went well, NOT MEANING that they never had any trouble or hard times, but rather THEY RESPONDED to God’s leading and God’s direction.
This built their trust in God and also led to a better outcome in the end.
HOWEVER, when they went out on their own, what happened?
The hardships still came, but now instead of relying on God’s leading, they were operating under their own power and their own authority, and BOOM they couldn’t handle what came their way and complete disaster struck.
The problem came and they COULD NOT handle it.
And the exact same thing holds true for us.
We read it in both services last week . . .
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
And we know that it is very true.
Good and bad come to us all, regardless of who we are or what our relationship with God is.
The key is HOW WE RESPOND, when trouble comes.
Do we turn to God and place our faith and trust in God?
Do we go out on our own trying to solve our own troubles?
And, of course we are going to answer, “We turn to God....”
We say that, but many times we DON’T DO IT.
We follow the pattern of Israel and we follow God for a while and then when things start going good we start doing things our way and forget about God.
And, we get a little haughty and high-minded. Trouble comes and we tell ourselves, “I got this, no problem!”
BIG MISTAKE. Remember Proverbs . .
18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
But we will do it every single time.
That is why Paul says in our passage . . .
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
We get a little full of ourselves, think that we are doing good, and think that we are above anything or any temptation . . .
And this is exactly when we are the most vulnerable.
We have let our guard down and now Satan is going to move in for the attack.
You don’t know it but he has you exactly where he wants you because . . .
We think we can handle the problem, and then we find out we can’t.
So, then we have to make a decision. #1-Humble ourselves before God or #2-keep doing what we are doing.
And sadly enough, a lot of times we decide on #2 and things get worse, and worse ,and worse.
We get weaker, and weaker, and weaker.
And then we get angry and bitter and cry out to God, “where are you? Why am I going through this?”
Mainly because, WE CANNOT HANDLE IT.
We are in a situation that we cannot handle whatsoever.
And we continue to go the way we are going and the anger and bitterness leads us away from God.
We give up and say “I’m done with it!”
And part of the reason we do this is because we know that we have been taught that if you are a Christian, God allowed the problem to happen.
And, if you are a Christian, God allowed it.
Because as a child of God, nothing can happen to you unless God allows it.
Now, let’s be clear. I DID NOT SAY GOD CAUSED IT.
I said, GOD ALLOWED IT, meaning that whatever it is, for whatever reason, God is allowing it to continue.
You may have caused it, the devil may have caused it, or it may have just happened, but there is a HUGE difference between God CAUSING and God ALLOWING.
13 When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
So, don’t go around blaming God for bad things that happen, because the sin and evil that is present in the world, along with our own free will causes things, not God.
So, God has allowed this thing to continue to take place and you can’t handle it, what are you to do?
WELL, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO TURN TO GOD!
Which is exactly what Paul is trying to get us to realize in this passage.
So, let’s look at verse 13 now . . .
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
So, there is a lot packed into this one little verse of Scripture and we are going to break it down.
First, Paul writes, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
Now, I looked up the word “temptation” and it means, “a test, a trial, or temptation (the same way we use it-enticement to do evil which springs from our own desires).”
So, what Paul is saying that in this life . . . .
We will be tested
We will go through trials or TROUBLE
We will be tempted
And, if you have lived, you know these things to be true.
However, again just like what Jesus said, Paul says that what we face is common to man, meaning that it is no different than what could happen to anyone.
And I say, “could” here because different things happen to different people for different reasons.
We don’t have the time or the understanding of God to really answer the question “why.”
So, Paul tells us that what we are going through is not out of the ordinary for humanity as a whole.
That’s the bad news: Life is tough and sometimes rough.
Here is the good news though . . . The very next thing Paul says is God is faithful!
Do we understand this morning that God is faithful?
Do we really get that?
Again, the ending of the Great Commission
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus’ words to the disciples . . .
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
. . . .
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Folks, God is faithful, regardless of the situation, regardless of the circumstance, regardless of our state of being.
God has always been, is, and always will be faithful!
That is the one thing that we can count on!! ALWAYS!
So, Paul has established that #1 trouble comes to us all, #2 God is faithful, and now #3 . . .
He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
And this is where we get hung up most of the time.
Throughout this whole passage Paul is trying to accomplish one thing....To get the people to put their faith and their trust in God for all things.
And if our faith and our trust is 100% squarely in God, then nothing can shake us, nothing can move us, nothing can harm us . . .
6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Or, as I prefer in the KJV, I can do all thing through CHRIST which strenghteneth me!
When our faith is in God, then YES there is no temptation, no trial, no test, no trouble that we cannot bear.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that we cannot face.
But the key, again is that our faith must be in God.
We cannot do this on our own.
We simply cannot.
But what we do is we read that part of verse 13 and share it with others, and they hear “I must not be a very good Christian because this is too much for me.”
Or they hear, “I’ve got to get through this on my own because God’s Word says . . .”
NO, NO, NO…That is not what the Bible is saying.
We are not meant go get through ANYTHING by ourselves.
We are to bring our burdens to God and trust God to help us through them, to carry us through them.
Jesus tells us . . .
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And that is also why in the last part of this verse, Paul tells us . . .but when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
And that way out is Jesus Christ.
That way out is putting our faith, our hope, all ourselves in God and not ourselves, not others.
There is a song that I absolutely love called In Christ Alone.
The lyrics go . . .
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand
I will stand
I will stand, all other ground is sinking sand
All other ground, all other ground
Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
So I'll stand
Folks, our hope is in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone.
This morning, you may be facing some sort of test, trouble, or temptation and you are on the verge of giving up.
Don’t give up…give it to Jesus.
Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one, maybe it is illness, maybe it’s addiction, maybe it’s sin.
I am here to tell you this morning, God is here to help.
Will you give it to God?
Will you come and lay it on this altar this morning?
Maybe you are here this morning and you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you can take care of that today.
Maybe you did at one point but have slipped away, you can come back this morning.
Maybe you would like to come and pray for someone else this morning.
I don’t know what your need is, but I do know you can come and pray.
Will you do that today?