To Test God...
Have you ever heard the following, “God does not give us more than we can handle.” This often comes to us when we are in some trial and the “well-wisher” wants to help us feel better and it only makes things worse.
This is a common problem when we try to quote Scripture. We misquote or we stop short of the full message. So, let us go to the source and seek to understand before being understood.
In the Christian Bible, Paul is responding to a letter that was sent to him from the newly formed church in Corinth. Many of the new Christians come from a pagan background and struggle with the practice of eating meat from the sacrifices made in the pagan temples. The issue of not going back to the old pagan practices of eating and drinking and getting up and going to play or indulging in sexual immorality, or putting Christ to the test.
In life many of our struggles can best be framed as a test. However, we get our test confused as there are test that we try to test God and the test that God allows to come our way. When we test God, then we are on our own. We learned this lesson from Job. But when God test us, then we are being pruned to move in a direction that God is wanting us to move.
So, look at 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not net you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
I believe Paul is saying that our struggles are not new to us and that we have the strength to deal with the test. Also, if the struggle is from God, then he will provide a way out so that we can endure the struggle. This makes more sense when we read Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has given to us.”
Yes! Life is a test. We have a choice. We can try test the all-powerful God, creator of all universes or we can trust in a God that loves us enough to not leave us the way that we are and uses life events to push us to grow. A God that will test us and at the same time give us the answers.