Word of the Month

A message of comfort

November 2012

Often I come to congregations where – without knowing any details – I feel many burdens and concerns. In this context I recently came across a Bible passage that I found to be very beautiful and comforting. It is recorded in one of Apostle Paul’s letters to the Corinthians: “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” (1 Corinthians 10: 13). What a wonderful assurance Apostle Paul gave at that time!

Temptations are always there. We cannot change that. Are there any among us who could say they have never been challenged or tempted? Temptations can come our way every day! And then the question can quickly arise in our hearts as to why the Lord does not help: “Why does He not guide things in some other way so that I can better cope with them?” But God never tries us beyond what we can endure. That is where the Lord draws the line. Trials will not go any further than that. And He also guides things in such a manner that there is always a way of escape, such that we can cope with the situation. In other words, along with the trial itself, the Lord creates a way out so that we can ultimately stand firm. The Lord never leaves us to our own devices, but always grants us a way to escape these circumstances – albeit not always in the manner we might wish.

Of course we would prefer to have all hardships disappear and be rid of all our cares. Often it is not that easy, but there is nevertheless a way out. The Lord creates balance by providing comfort and by allowing us to experience things here and there which give us the certainty that God is still on our side!

Think of the people Israel when they found themselves standing at the sea after they had left Egypt: in front of them was the water, and behind them were their pursuers! But the Lord had provided a way out which no one would have been able to foresee. The waters parted and the people were able to walk through on dry ground. He had provided a way of escape in order to ensure that the Israelites would remain protected. Do we not also experience similar things here and there? A door suddenly opens up for us. Out of the blue we find that we have new strength in order to bear our circumstances. All of a sudden new courage wells up within us. Perhaps we experience something which reinforces the certainty within us that God is with us! In all our trials, problems, cares, and needs, let us never give up our confidence that there is a way out! The Lord will see to it that things never become too difficult for us. God sets a limit to the trials which oppress us.        

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)