13 No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13, CEB
At some point in our lives, someone has probably said to us, “You can handle this, because God doesn’t give people more than they can bear.” Perhaps those of you that did “Bible drills” as children then think about this verse and say, “Yes. You’re right. He won’t.”
But what is this verse about? Temptation (specifically: the temptation to worship idols, to “test Christ” with snake demonstrations, sexual immorality, and complaining). It’s not about trials or life circumstances or anything like that. In fact, let’s play this out a little bit. Many, many people over the centuries have died on account of their faith. I believe those would literally be cases of people who’ve been given more than they can handle.
I’ll try not to belabor the point, but I think we could even go further with this if we wanted to. As a caveat, I’ll say that once a person is addicted, we’re not dealing with an issue of temptation. I say that, hopefully, to avoid triggering some of our readers.
I’ll close by saying this. We’re often tempted to try to help people “see the bright side” in the midst of suffering. When people want that and are open to it, that’s a good thing. But I’ll remind us, once again, of the beautiful image we have of Job’s friends sitting with him in silence for 7 whole days before they opened their mouths (and proceeded to blow it by saying stupid things that they tried to pass off as “wisdom”). We’re uncomfortable with negative experiences. Let’s not let our discomfort be the driving factor when someone is using us as a sounding board for their problems. Instead, let’s follow the example of Job’s friends (before they blew it) and strive to be a peaceful presence in our love one’s lives.