"I was thinking..."

 

March 2019

 

I was thinking…Pastor Steve

“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.”  1 Corinthians 10: 13  (NIV)

 

          I was thinking about a phrase we hear pretty often.  It goes like this, “God will not give us more than we can bear.”  Have you heard that one?  I’m sure you have.  Let me let you in on something; it’s not in the Bible.  Surprised?  There are several sayings like that that we repeat that aren’t written in the Bible, but they do have a Biblical foundation.  Like, “Money is the root of all evil.”  Actually Paul wrote in his 1st letter to Timothy, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  (I Tim. 6: 10  NIV)  Money isn’t evil; it’s the greed that surrounds it that is evil.

 

          What about, “Pride goes before the fall?”  Biblical, but it’s not in the Bible.  Over the years, I think people have shortened some of the verses or concepts in Biblical passages and reworded them so they can remember them better.  As this last one is a warning, over and over again, the Bible denounces haughtiness and pride and uplifts humbleness and humility.  Don’t forget that we believe that Satan was cast out of Heaven because of his pride, thinking himself better than he was and trying to usurp God!

 

          There are several more sayings we attribute to the Bible, but let me get back to my original thought, “God will not give us more than we can bear.”  It’s believed that this is a reflection on the verse above from 1st Corinthians.  What is it actually saying in that verse?  Read it again.  Go ahead.

 

          It says God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.  It’s not that He won’t let us go through trials and testing.  In fact, God will sometimes allow us to go through those trials and testings to refine us, to grow our faith, to call back a Christian who has fallen away.  We don’t like it very much, but He’s God, and we’re not.

 

          So, will God put more on us than we can bear?  Sometimes it sure feels that way.  However, I have to look to some of the disciples who were martyred for their faith.  And then there have been saints through the centuries who died while praising Jesus.  Were they given more than they could bear?  Elizabeth Elliot lost her husband of only a few years when he went as a missionary to Ecuador, where the inhabitants killed him.  Was that more than a young mother should bear?

          Many times we are put in situations where we think we can’t take any more, any more sickness, cancer, death, shootings, overdoses, and on and on.  Did God cause all of this to happen to us or to our family and friends?  I don’t think so.  I believe that Satan has caused it.  In the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect.  But after the Fall of Mankind, evil and sin permeated our day to day lives, and the result is everything I listed above and more.  Will God get us through those times of struggle, of heartache, of doubt?  I truly believe He will.  But, we need to have a strong foundation already laid when we get into those situations.  I think He can carry us through if we don’t, but it seems to me that we will be better off if we are already in His Word, already in prayer, and already in fellowship with other strong Believers.  Jesus said His followers will struggle.  “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16: 33b)  Our trouble could come from man or it could come from Satan.  Either way, our job is to be ready.  Take heart that Jesus is ultimately in control and will be with us through all of our struggles. 

 

          Stand up, pray up, and read up.  God bless.

        

 

         

        

         

Maineville United Methodist Church

60 East Foster-Maineville Road

Maineville, Ohio  45039

(513) 683-1005

mainevilleumc@gmail.com

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