“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Cor. 10:13
This is one of the greatest promises in the whole Bible! Let’s break it down.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”
The immediate context calls to mind the sinfulness of the Israelites following the Exodus. Paul mentions idolatry, which was a real temptation for the Corinthians to eat the best meat served in pagan temples (v. 7). He also mentions grumbling (v. 10), putting Christ to the test (v. 9) and sexual immorality (v. 8). All these temptations plagued the Israelites in the wilderness while they struggled to follow God. The battle with sin as we pursue a trust relationship with God is nothing new. Every generation of believers have fought this fight, and there is something reassuring knowing that we do not battle alone.
“God is faithful”
This is a simple and yet wonderful truth about God. He is faithful, He keeps His word, He fulfills His promises and He does not give up on His people. No matter what!
“he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability”
And this is one of the incredibly remarkable examples of God’s faithfulness. God is faithful in our battle with sin by applying His sovereignty to our situation such that He limits the temptation in our life. He wants us to succeed in our battle with sin, so He only allows it in a measure consistent with our ability to handle it. It is terribly encouraging to know that in my present temptation, God is only allowing what He knows I can successfully resist, in order to affirm me in my faith and to glorify His name.
“but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Not only is God limiting the temptation, He is also ensuring that there is a tangible way to resist in my specific circumstance. Satan is not allowed to cut off all the exits. God ensures that there is a clearly marked escape route for me to take, and in so doing, to honor Him.
This one verse is filled with some of the most encouraging and daily practical truth in all the Bible. It’s a promise; a promise that a God who is faithful will ensure to keep for you and for me.