The Unknown Temptations


I Corinthians 10:12-13 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

I Corinthians 10:13 is a scripture that has brought encouragement to the body of Christ since it was first written. It’s also something of a challenge—to seek and find that “way of escape.” But knowing that there is that escape is a rich blessing.

There is also a common interpretation of the first part of that verse. The usual way we look at it is that the temptations that come our way won’t overpower us, and that there is a God-provided way out. That is a legitimate way of reading this Scriptures.

There is another way to look at that verse, however—one that is more humbling and indicative of the great grace of God in our lives. God “will not allow [us] to be tempted beyond what [we] are able.” That not only means what we normally think it means, but it also means that God has so ordered our lives that the temptations that would overwhelm and destroy us spiritually won’t come our way.

We are more than familiar with the struggles we’ve each had with various temptations. Most of us have stories, even if just in our memories, of the spiritual warfare and final victories we’ve experienced. Some of us, to be completely honest with ourselves, have even taken a smidgen of pride along with our expressions of praise and relief as we have ridden the waves of temptation and come out the other side. We know that it’s His grace that has brought us through, but we are usually aware of the work we did as well.

There is nothing but grace and steadfast love behind that other implication of this verse, however. God knows what we can stand (even with His grace at our disposal) and what would destroy us. We’ll never know until heaven (if He even chooses to reveal this to us!) what we were spared from because we wouldn’t have been able to handle it. For instance:

  • That unknown, harmful person didn’t come into your life.
  • That harmful person left your life early before he/she could do any more damage.
  • That awful incident didn’t touch you, and you may not have even known about it.
  • You didn’t know that God deflected a terrible trial away from you.

God is gracious to give us a way out of the temptations that come our way. He’s also gracious in His knowledge of us and care for us to keep some temptations completely out of our way. We have so much to thank and praise Him for!

Prayer: Father, thank you that you operate in both love and wisdom in all your dealings with me. Thank you for your loving protection. Thank you for what I don’t know about and may never know about in this life.