"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now..."
~ John 16:12 (NKJV)
Though we often forget it, the Lord knows well that we are frail children of dust. He is so sensitive to how much we can bear that He reserves some truth for us until the hour we need it, lest it prove to be too much for us in the meantime.
It might therefore seem logical to conclude that God never allows His children to suffer more than they can bear.
As Billy Coffey astutely observed in his novel, "Snow Day," the axiom that says God doesn't give us more than we can bear isn't exactly true. What the Bible does say is that we won't be tempted, or tested, beyond our ability to bear it ...
Of all the critical uses of "but," this occurrence ranks right up there with the most important ones:
No temptation [test, trial] has overtaken you except such as is common to man ... God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted [tried, tested] beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV, amplification and emphasis mine)
We will face situations that are beyond our ability to bear without an escape. And we are asked to believe that a good God allows suffering not only to test the love and compassion of those who observe suffering, not only to refine us from sin, but also so that we will seek out escape.
"... However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth."
~ John 16:13 (NKJV)
The same Spirit Who reveals truth at the needed hour is also our escape in the needed hour—and He rarely provides immediate escape via separation from suffering. Escape is obtained by being yoked with Jesus, and trusting Him to bear us all the way through temptation and testing, lest we fall into it.
Lord, please help us to stay closely connected with you, through every moment of the day, so that we will be able to stand in the hour of testing, that we may bear the hour of suffering.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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