Here’s what I recently heard someone say: “God knows what you can handle and He gave you that challenge because He trusts you to handle it.”
I was surprised. I assumed she was basing her statement on 1 Corinthians 10:13, but I wondered if it was an accurate application. The verse says:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB)
I’ve also heard many people say something like, “I wish God didn’t think so highly of me because He’s giving me more than I can handle.”
Or, “I think God trusts me too much because I can’t handle what is happening.”
Personally, I think all these statements show an aberration of the truths of 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I can see how that verse might seem to give the impression affirming those statements. It does say, “…will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.” The thinking may be that this verse seems to indicate that God knows what you can handle and therefore, He doesn’t allow something you can’t handle. But I think the verse says more than that. And I don’t think God ever “trusts” us about anything.
What do I base that on?
God provides the “escape.” The ability to handle the temptation is not from someone’s personal strength but God providing the “escape.”
God is the one who is faithful, not the person. Again, the verse talks about God, not our own ability.
God knows our frame. Psalm 103:14 says: “For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.” There is nothing good in us. We are but His creation.
Jesus knows people’s hearts. John 2:24: “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men.” Jesus doesn’t entrust Himself to anyone, therefore, I don’t think He finds us reliable at all or trusts us.
Our only “handling ability” comes from complete dependence upon Him. Philippians 4:13 tells us: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” It doesn’t say anything like, “I can handle it because Jesus trusts me with what He allows in my life.”
It also doesn’t say anything like, “I can do things in my own power and then when it gets too hard, I call upon Jesus’s power.”
No! Everything has to be done in His power because in ourselves we aren’t trustworthy or have any power. Even Jesus said that He did everything in the Father’s power. He relied upon His Father for:
His very identity: “I have come in My Father’s Name” (John 5:43).
His works: “the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me” (John 10:25).
His fruit: “My Father, who has given them [believers] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29).
His words: “and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:24).
His commandments: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).
Why am I making a big deal out of this? Because when someone talks about God trusting us or says something like, “I wish God didn’t think so highly of me,” it seems to suggest that we don’t need God’s power. That we can do it on our own. That we are faithful and trustworthy.
I don’t think that’s true and I actually don’t want it to be true because I’m desperately in need of God’s power and I am not faithful and trustworthy.
But let me ask you: what do you think? Maybe I’ve misinterpreted those statements. I’d love to hear what you believe.