Here is a famous modern-Christian line I hear, and one I too am guilty of spreading for a period of time:
“GOD will not put you through anything you can’t handle – so says 1 Corinthians 10:13″
However, let us look at what the scripture really says:
“1 Cor. 10:13 – 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.”
Modern-Christian Interpretation: SUFFERING
Correct Interpretation: TEMPTATION
Temptation has to do with SIN. Meaning, if I cannot bear a sin (i.e. Alcohol, if I was an alcoholic), then I would not be tempted above what I could not handle. Furthermore, GOD will provide an escape route.
If, however, I be persecuted or suffer for Christ’s sake (i.e. betrayed by a loved one), this is something we go through because the world hates Jesus. This kind of event has nothing to do with temptation and sin. It is simply a matter of suffering for no good reason. And although it is simple to understand, make no mistake, it is difficult to endure it – for when these things happen, we are specifically instructed by Christ to do one thing:
“Luke 6:27 – But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you”
And so you see, there is no temptation in this. So what does this mean? Will we then SUFFER above what we cannot handle?
Do NOT be surprised, if you should suffer an incredible evil done against you, even an evil so vile, that you CANNOT bear it. Even Paul the Apostle suffered so great an evil, that even he admits he CANNOT bear it:
2 Corinthians 1:8 – “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life”
This scripture, could not describe better how my heart feels today. In 2012, when I made the leap to become a missionary for the Lord at Japan, a great evil was indeed done against me, insomuch that I have despaired of life, even a year later. It is….too much for me to bear. I don’t know if the Lord can heal me from this one. In the 10 years I have been a child of the Lord Jesus, I have never ever endured such great pain in my heart. At times, I did think of suicide, I thought about revenge, I thought about all sorts of bad things. But, in the end…all I find is LOVE. It is a very strange thing to try and explain, but in the end, I feel an overwhelming LOVE for those enemies. It is…so strange. I would probably snap if I saw them face-to-face right now, but I know now, that I would not take vengence. It is not out of some self-righteous deception that “GOD will avenge me”, that I believe. No, as a matter of fact there is a HIGH chance that they will probably be forgiven for what they did, and never ever be punished for what they did to me. There is a HIGH chance that I will never be avenged, considering they could become saved children of GOD in the future, then all would be forgiven.
I struggle with this. My heart, wants justice. My heart refuses to walk forward in the Lord until it has vengence. But, at the same time, this same heart loves them so much. The biggest paradox I ever did see. These people literally tried to kill me (I mean this physically), and yet…my heart loves them. It wants justice, but it loves them. It wants revenge, but refuses to take vengence. I have physical scars all over my body from my would-be killers, and yet…the LOVE of the LORD is stronger. It is not my mind that loves them, it is my HEART. My heart cries every night, wishing to reconcile with these traitors — wishing this betrayal would never had happened. But, the truth is there. I didn’t understand why I have been able to survive all these 10 long years without taking revenge, until I read a scripture that perfectly explains what is happening in my heart:
2 Corinthians 1:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
When my traitors sent me into the hospital, I was paralyzed from head-to-toe, laying on my death bed, without anyone by my side. As I lay there, I cried, and BEGGED the Lord to take my life. I BEGGED HIM. I remember clearly as if it was yesterday, that I begged him to please take my life, because the pain was too great, and my body was dying anyway.
But He raised me from the dead. And when He did that, the presence of the LORD was in me. Not just with me, but IN ME. I guess the best way to describe it, is that, when this happens, you automatically LOVE everyone on the entire planet at the MAXIMUM level, even your worst enemies! Best way I could describe that “feeling”, if it was a physical feeling. I felt so….clean. I felt so….free.
I was immediately healed when He visited me in that hospital in 2004. I walked out of the hospital in perfect shape 2 days later from being totally paralyzed and sick from radiation poisoning.
In 2012, I decided to face some of these people, in an attempt to reconcile. I know— stupid. So stupid. It’s just, what happened was SO UNBELIEVABLE, that I just had to find out first-hand…did they really intend to kill me? I thought, nah…it can’t be. There must’ve been some mistake….some kind of REASON. After all, these people claim to be Christians…
But I was wrong.
Yes, they fully intended to harm me and kill me. Nothing had changed. All these years….nothing had changed, as a matter of fact it was worse. After approaching them and learning the truth, my initial reaction was anger towards GOD. I felt, that He had delivered me into the hands of my enemies. They were so … happy without me, and I felt that He had blessed them, and cursed me! I felt so betrayed by GOD. I knew that this was not right. In my mind and spirit, I knew the truth was that this was the work of the devil, trying to kill me all over again.
But my heart…….was crushed.
Totally crushed. Totally anhialated. I could not breathe. I did not eat a single morsel for 9 days. I did not speak, I did not stand. I felt the sickness coming back all over again. And this time, the Lord did not visit me. No visit, no dream, no vision, no direct words. And so, I was left a choice. Would I avenge myself? Or would I run the risk of the Lord actually forgiving these people, and living with shame all the days of my life?
Neither is true. It seems….there was an even greater answer. A difficult one. Not one out of reason, but one out of heart:
To love my enemies.
So simple, yet so difficult. Well Jesus, that is better said than done! To forgive this level of evil….is impossible. But with GOD, all things are possible. I was on my way back to death again after 2012, but GOD did again raise me from the dead. Even though there was no words, and no vision — no supernatural event — there was POWER. And that POWER, was the same POWER that was revealed to me in 2004 — LOVE. Unimaginable LOVE for the entire planet, even for those traitors. Aside from all the pain, still — all I find is LOVE. This is not possible! But after searching the scriptures, I find that the reason I feel this way in my heart, is because of the Holy Spirit. And if He still loves them, then that’s good enough for me.
Therefore, I BEG the LORD EVERY DAY, to increase the capacity for LOVE in my heart. To INCREASE IT TEN FOLD! To FILL IT. To grant me more LOVE from HIM, so that I can not only have enough LOVE for my friends and family, but also for my ENEMIES, and even have some to spare! I am not there yet, but I want to be there. I want to bathe in His LOVE, and that is the true answer — and the devil loses again. In this, is no shame. In this, my dignity is restored. In this — there is HOPE.
Romans 8:36 – As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.