A common statment people say to comfort their brothers and sisters in Christ is, “God won’t give you more than you can handle, so He must think you can handle this.” Next time you hear someone tell another that God will not give them more than they can handle, gently tell them that it is God’s business to allow us to experience more than we can handle to remind us how badly we need Him.
For goodness sake, if you say this, do a word study on suffering and see what the Spirit says to you.
What (I think) people are referring to when they say that is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
That verse is talking about temptation, NOT circumstances. I will talk about God’s Sovereignty in suffering and horrible circumstances some other time if the Lord allows.
However, this verse in 1 Corinthians is both comforting and annoying to me. It is comforting because I know that no matter what situation I get myself into, or tantalizing possibilities I am presented with, God will always provide a way for me to turn it down. Now, He doesn’t promise it will be easy or pain-free; but at least it is possible to rebuke temptation with the same authority that Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert.
It is annoying because…well, sometimes I want to sin. Yep, I said it. Some temptations are right up my alley. Then I hear that voice or realize the way out and I am annoyed. Why, why can I not enjoy sinning this one time without being reminded that there is a way out and that holiness and righteousness is truly my heart’s desire?
Now, I say that flippantly and do NOT wish for the Lord to quiet His voice in my times of temptation. No, I’d rather He get louder. I’d rather He laugh at my annoyance and rebellious flesh, and present me with greater opportunities to avoid my sin. I think it would bring Him joy for me to choose righteousness. PLEASE DON’T LET UP, LORD! (See Romans 1, yikes!).
I imagine that when I resist the devil and flee from temptation that my flesh is wrapped around one of my legs weighing me down as I slowly walk away. As I drag myself away, I tell my flesh “Come on, get up. I’m going whether you want me to or not.” All the while, the Lord takes his scythe and clears the path ahead of me.
It is our bodies that sin, whether it be our mind, actions, or motives. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord. This is our spiritual act of worship (Rom. 12:1) Yes, resisting temptation is a sacrifice and a form of worshiping. This sacrifice is a lovely fragrance and brings Him great pleasure.