Trials and Trouble: Paul#3Because Jesus walked the "Via Dolorosa" and rose from the dead, we have hope when we walk on the "Way of Suffering". Paul explains the power of God in the midst of our suffering:
In our verse for today, Paul talks about "temptation" but the Greek word, Peirasmos, also means trial or hardship. It's the word he uses to describe his eye problem to the Galatians. It's the word he uses in Acts 20 to describe his sufferings on his missionary journeys. It's the word that James and Peter used in the passages we looked at earlier this week.
When we go through trouble, we are very tempted to believe that our trouble is bigger than anyone else's and that we are being hit harder than anyone else is being hit. Paul knocks this myth out of the park. When we suffer, we are not being given special treatment. We are not being "singled out" and God "doesn't have it in for us." We are simply experiencing or partaking in human brokenness.
This is so counter to our mid-suffering thinking processes. We obsess with "Why me Lord?" and "Why now Lord?" but Paul is quite clear. Our troubles are not unique or special - Our troubles are "common" to humanity. In fact, the Greek puts it like this: "To have trials is to be human."
But because of Jesus' "Via Dolorosa" we have two strong hopes:
- He knows our limits - He's been where we are. He pushed beyond the limits - He was God-forsaken so that we never have to be.
- He gives us a way out. Because He defeated death, sin and Satan, we share in His victory and He will carry us through our pain.
|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. (1Corinthians10:13)|