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“God never gives you more than you can handle”

1 Corinthians

Is this Scriptural? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

What many fail to realize is that 1 Corinthians chapters 8-10 involves eating food sacrificed to an idol at the temple of an idol, eating food bought from a market which may or may not have been sacrificed to an idol and eating in the home of an unbeliever.

This is a serious enough issue that Paul devotes quite a bit of his letter to it. Socializing and eating together was an important part of the Corinthian culture both personally and for business networking (to use a modern term). At the same time idol worship and sacrificing was so common that it was difficult to avoid. It’s not just a matter of causing others to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:10-11) but that idol worship is participation in the demonic (1 Corinthians 10:20).

Paul tells the Corinthians in 10:12, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (…back into idol worship and falling away from the faith.)

Some have dissected the phrase “God never gives you more than you can handle” but I don’t see the value in it if it isn’t Biblical.

Jump ahead to 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” I would guess Paul wasn’t thinking, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Although it did strengthen his faith and he continues to have hope in God. “He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”
(2 Corinthians 1:10)

There are all kinds of questions and issues that go along with this that I’m not prepared enough or wise enough to write about at this time other than to point to some Scripture on God’s Sovereignty from 30nov07. Someday I’d like to expand on “strangely comforting.”