“Like the Bible says, God never puts on you more than you can handle.” Is that what the Bible says? If you are referring to 1 Cor 10:13, that’s not what that verse says. It says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” There is nothing in this verse that remotely suggests that God “puts things” on anyone. Let’s get into God’s Word.
First of all, temptation is common to all men. Everyone is tempted with something. The specifics might change, but temptation will always in some way relate to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1Jn 2:16). It’s what the devil came to Eve with; and what he came to Jesus with. It is what he comes to us with. This is not from God. It is from one or more of the three enemies of the spirit which are the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The Bible plainly states that when we are tempted, we are not to say we are tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man (with evil) - James 1:12-14. How many Christians go around doing the exact opposite of this verse? How many say when evil comes into their lives, “Oh, God’s teaching me a lesson. This must be The Lord’s will. God put this on me for a reason. God won’t give me more than I can handle.” We are not to say that evil things are from God. We have a real enemy. He hates us, and wants to destroy us. We are commanded to resist him (Jam 4:7), not too embrace him and attribute his works to God! Oh, how foolish we can be!
It goes on to say in 1Cor 10:13 that God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted above what you can bear. This doesn’t say God is tempting you. It says He will stand with you- for when we are weak, He is strong. He, with the temptation, gives an escape from it. Notice it says “with” the temptation, not “from”. We have no promise from God that temptation will be removed, but rather, that He will bring us through it victoriously - if we hold fast to His Word.
It is true, that some people have prayed for a temptation to be taken away and it instantly vanished; however, this is the exception and not the rule. Paul prayed for his thorn in the flesh (unusually severe persecution - see Num 33:55, Jos 23:13, Judg 2:3, 2 Cor 11:23-27) to be removed, but God said that His grace is sufficient; for when Paul was weak, God was strong through Him. You will walk through the fire, and not be burned. No weapon formed against you will prosper. It doesn’t say there will be no fire or no weapon.
Satan tempts in order to kill, steal, and destroy. He doesn’t want to make you stronger or better. He wants to ruin you. The good news is, we have a promise from God; that if we love Him and are called according to His purposes, He will work all things together for our good (Rom 8:28). What Satan means for evil, God will work for our benefit. If we stand on His word, we will be made stronger, wiser, and more conformed into the image of Christ through trials and tribulations. That’s why we are told to rejoice in tribulations- because they produce in us patience, experience, and hope (Rom 5:3-4). If you never bump into the devil, it’s because you are going the same direction!
Joseph is a perfect example of this. He told his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God meant (or worked) for good.” Satan inspired, through jealousy and hate, his brothers to sell him to slave traders. Potiphar’s wife was satanically motivated to falsely accuse Joseph of rape and then be cast into prison. However, while Joseph was in prison, the word that God gave him tested him (Ps 105:19). Would he hold true to it? Would he continue to believe it and confess it? The Word tested him. He persevered. He received the promise. So it is with us. When Satan tries to destroy us, will we hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering for He is faithful who promised (Heb 10:23)? Will we, like Elisha, refuse to leave Elijah’s side, to receive the blessing and anointing of God (2 Kin 2:1-14)?
Satan tempts with evil in order to destroy us. God tests us with His Word in order to make us stronger. We must understand this difference. We must understand that the Lord’s testing is for our benefit to reveal what’s in our heart- that impurities may be washed away with the Word. Our faith is like gold, and every time it is “heated up”, it is made more pure (1 Pt 1:7, 4:12). We have a choice to become either bitter or better. Just because we go through a trial doesn’t mean we will be made better. However, if we learn to discern Who is our Friend and who is our enemy, and if we will yield ourselves as clay in the Potter’s hands, then He will benefit us, bless us, and bring us through as pure gold. Submit to God, and resist the devil; don’t submit to the devil and resist God! God is for us and not against us. He is our solution and not our problem. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!