Standing On Our Knees

Derek Ouellette —  July 25, 2010

You have heard it said, “God will not give you more than you can bare”. But frankly, I don’t believe that too be true. The saying is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:13 and is meant to encourage people to “press on”, to “endure” and to “remain faithful”. And to that end I say “amen”, “amen” and “amen!” But the passage in 1 Corinthians does not teach that God will not give you more than you can bare, neither does it teach that when you are tempted he’ll make a way to “escape”! Rather the crux of the whole passage is found in the climatic phrase:

“So that you can stand up under it” (NIV)

or, as the ESV puts it,

“That you may be able to endure it” (ESV)

Not only may God give us more then we can bare, he does it to his children regularly. Remember Israel in Egypt for 450 years. From the Hebrew point of view, escape was simply out of the question (a burden too great to bare?). They were as hopeless as hopeless gets. And it was at that point that the scriptures record:

“The people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.” Exodus 2:23 (ESV)

And remember the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the promised land? God waited until the Jordan was in flood and he made the Israelites watch those rapid waters rush on by – an impenetrable force (a burden too great to bare?). How were they going to cross?

We know the ending of both of these stories, God makes away! But he always wants us to trust in him and not in our own works (remember the first time the Israelites attempted to enter the promised land – they got the smack down! Numbers 14:39-45).

God wants to give you more than you can bare so that you can learn to live a life which relies on him. Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Our Heavenly Father, I pray that I would continue to rely on you in all things. I pray that I would hold nothing back and keep no little bits for myself. Thank you for your strength and your faithfulness, and thank you for your promised open invitation to the throne of mercy and grace where I can go to find strength. Forgive me Jesus for the times when I have gone it on my own. Holy Spirit continue to form me into the image of Christ so that, having done all to stand, I would stand therefore in Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Amen.

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • http://harrysheresy Harry Heimann

    I couldn’t agree more. We need to be reminded many times that we are not God and in many of these circumstances that come our way we do just that. Then our eyes will go to the only One who can help. Jesus said (John 15:5 ……apart from me you can do nothing)” Good reminder Derek.

  • Rielly McLaren

    I agree, there has been a wide misinterpretation of 1 Cor 10:13. There is an additional element to this verse that is equally important as well: the phrase “way of escape”. The Greek word is ekbasis, which is rooted in the word ekballow, meaning, “to throw out”. The word denotes the idea of finality or completion.

    With that being said, the application I drew from this is that God is not interested in temporary fixes or flesh-wound bandages; instead, he performs full-out surgery throughout the mind and heart. Too often our focus is on “just get me through this situation”…we treat our temptations as only something we need to survive. In contrast, God being faithful in temptation is the process of “standing up” in the midst of temptation. This means that ekballow is the process of building character that is lasting in the life of the tempted, not shallow and temporary solutions.

    Just some additional thoughts, nothing earth shattering. Thanks for this Derek.