Tuesday, October 5

Thesis Paper...apology and elaboration

Back on 09/24, I wrote:

I'm sure I'll elaborate on this a bit more later on but I do find it amusing that about 8 of people included the statement that "God does not give us more than we can bear." This statement isn't Biblical and why wouldn't God give us more than we can bear...it is in those moments we will turn to Him and rely on Him for help. It is in those moments where His strength works through our weaknesses and ALL glory goes to Him. (I feel a soapbox coming on so I'll quit...like I said, I'll probably tackle this thought later on.)

It occurred to me last night that the way I wrote this sounds too confident and very likely condescending and judgmental. Let me apologize. I spoke out of line or at least should have followed up with my reasoning instead of just leaving it hanging. If I have offended, forgive me please! A friend of mine, who is very sweet and gracious, read that post and asked for more of my reasonings/thoughts behind what I wrote. She did so in a very open way but through her email, I was convicted.

I will quickly and honestly admit that I have not done enough research on I Corinthians 10:13..."No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I haven't researched Greek words, read commentaries or anything of the sort.

The most common way I hear this verse quoted (as was quoted in my survey) is that "God does not give you more than you can bear"...however the verse above does not exactly say that. Instead it says that "God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." Does tempted mean the same thing as suffer/pain/endure? I don't know.

If you read verse 13 in context, verses 1-12 have to do with the Israelites sinning. They were God's chosen people and yet willingly chose to disobey and walk away from God. Because of this, God dealt with their sin. So how I read verse 13 is that when I am tempted to sin, it won't be a temptation that I just can't resist...it won't be a temptation that has such power over me that my only option is to sin. Instead I think it means that no matter what temptation is facing me, because of God I have ability to resist it, to be free from it, to turn away.

In regards to suffering, I believe more along the lines of this Corinthian passage: "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (II Corinthians 12:7-10). Paul pleaded for relief from this thorn. But through his weaknesses and through his times of great pain, God's power was made known!

As I mentioned back on 09/24, why wouldn't God take us to end of our limits...perhaps even to death...just to bring glory to His name! In my weaknesses, He is made strong! In my shortcomings, His faithfulness shines brighter. If I am crippled and broken in the process and still manage to look to God and trust in Him, how much more glory would that bring him than if I could endure the whole thing in my own strength!

I do believe that God walks with us through hardships. In both of the interviews I shared about on 09/29, they both reach the point where they begged for death or thought they would die and cried out to God. He carried them through that experience although physical relief still didn't come right away.

Anyhow, these are some of my thoughts. I am very open and willing to hear any of your thoughts/reasonings/agreements/disagreements. I have much to learn still.

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