Sunday, September 7, 2014

Out of Context

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

This scripture was tossed out to me this week.  I went postal....sort of.  My words were less than pleasant, by a lot.  The way it was paraphrased, "God will not give me more than I can bear."  Well, I was given a lot more than I could bear as a little girl.  Adults don't cope with what I attempted to cope with.  Tonight, I put the words back into the original text and it tells a different tale.  Apostle Paul is reminding the saints of their ancestors idolatry and sins against the Lord.  He was trying to convince them that Satan could not tempt them more than they could withstand.  Sinned against, caught in wars, natural disasters, those things don't seem to have limits.  I'll give an example of how I keep this straight in my mind.  (This is the Gospel of Christ according to my interpretation.)  Joseph was beaten, dropped in a pit and sold as a slave by his brothers where he was taken to Egypt.  While serving his master, Potiphar's wife tempted Joseph, he fled.  He did not give into temptation but was thrown in prison any way.  He endured that prison for years.  God knew exactly where he was needed.  They knew where to find Joseph when Pharaoh had disturbing dreams. Joseph, sold into Egypt, survived all the cruelty, lies, and endured great hardship but was not tempted more than he was able to bear.  However, he suffered plenty.  
 This is a short list of things endured by prophets and others loved by the Lord:
All his children killed, lost all his money, boils all over his body, his friends turned against him, Job didn't have a corner stone on suffering.
Her husband died, she follows her mother-in-law to a new country, she does what her mother-in-law asks to get a husband, Ruth endured much.
She was picked as a wife to the king then asked to plead for her people...Esther would die if the king chose not to recognize her.
Fed by ravens by a small brook, when that dried up sent to a widow and her son to ask for food, Elijah did as the Lord commanded.  
Peter was asked to leave his employment and live without purse or script to follow Jesus.  Later gave his life because he followed Christ.
This list could go on and on about the suffering of those that love God.  Trusting God does not eliminate problems from my life.  Trusting God makes the unbearable, possible.

Joseph sold into Egypt saved a nation from starvation.
Job was blessed with all that he lost.
Ruth had children and in her lineage Christ was born.
Elijah was sustained and raised the widow's son from the dead.
Peter got out the boat and walked on water.  Christ grabbed him as he began to sink.  His Savior walks on water. 
“I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa

I am a deep believer that my offering to God is to be a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  In my way of thinking, this is not comfortable.  Besides, how can we know what we can do until we are pushed to the MAX and a bit beyond? 

“I am a little pencil in God's hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more.”

Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living
Read more quotes from Mother Teresa

I admire Mother Teresa.  She did amazing things in her life.  She wasn't rich but she is famous.  She brought comfort where none dare to tread.  She handled so much and suffered greatly too.  
I remind myself, when I pray I don't need to tell God how big my problems are, my job is to tell my problems how BIG my God is. 
What can God do for me?
2 Corinthians 1:4
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Isaiah 51:3
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 

2 Corinthians 1:3
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort

2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. 

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

Psalms 28:8
The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
Job 23:6
Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
 God caused the people to walk across dry land though the Red Sea to escape their enemies.
He fed His people with manna. 
God brought down the walls of Jericho.
He heals the sick. 
Causes the blind to see.
Search out and study the miracles in the scripture.  

Some people say that the miracles of the Bible have ceased.  I look around me and see suffering, then I really pay attention in my own life and the lives of others, miracles abound.  I am thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed me with doctors and counselors, employment and family, food to eat, and a comfortable place to sleep.  I've seen suffering, I've seen miracles.  I am thankful to the Lord for the many great blessings I enjoy.   

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