Hanging on - Hope 103.2

Hanging on

By David ReayFriday 21 Jul 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Corinthians 10:13

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (NLT)

Verses like this seem at once so comforting yet so puzzling. Many of us have been in situations where we feel we can endure no more and some followers of Jesus have in fact cracked under the strain. So what do we make of it?

The word ‘temptations’ can mean testings or trials. Paul’s first point is that we ought not to be taken aback by experiencing these. We are not tempted, we do not suffer trials, because we are especially bad or weak people. We experience all this because we are fallible humans living in a less-than-perfect world. We could even argue that the most active and devoted Christians might know more about such things than the hibernating variety of Christian. Satan may let the sleeping Christian be, as he or she is no threat to him.

The promise appears to be that we can endure such temptation or testing. It does not say it will be easy or quick. It does not even guarantee endurance. The context of this verse suggests we can indeed fall in a heap if we do not avail ourselves of the ‘way out’. It seems that God provides the resources but we need to recognise and rely on them. They don’t kick in automatically.

And we may need to endure for a long time. It may sadly be that the ‘way out’ is not so much an escape hatch through which we crawl away from the hardship. It may be that we are merely given the resources to hang on, believing that God is with us and that one day it will indeed come to an end. In some situations, endurance may not involve escape.

David Reay