This past New Year’s Eve, Ellen and I joined our children in going to an Escape Room. It was the first time for me. The gatekeeper took us to in a room set up like a casino and told us that some very bad people were on their way to get us and that we had 1 hour to unlock the door and escape. The catch was that we had to work together to find the clues that would lead us to the key that would unlock the door. The gatekeeper turned, walked through the door and locked it. The clock was ticking!
That was a game, but we all know that we face times of trial and testing in real life. In those times you might even hear someone say, “God won’t put more on you than you can handle.” It is a saying offering strength and confidence for times of trouble. I’ve wondered if this saying can be found in the Bible?
Our first reading this morning from 1 st Corinthians 10:13 seems to when the Apostle Paul writes, “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength....”
He knew that every human being, no matter the depth of their faith, the shallowness of their faith, or even those who have no faith at all, share the common human condition of facing times of trial and testing. And while we would like to believe the worst things happen to the worst people, that’s not always the case.
Watching or hearing about a person of great faith going through an unbelievable time of testing you may ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Paul’s answer – “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength.”
However, verse 13 continues with this truth, “...but with the testing he will provide the way out so that you may be able to endure.” A way out! This truth can be found throughout the scriptures. God provides his people who are slaves in Egypt with a way out through the Exodus. God’s people in exile in Babylon, are provided a way to return. After denying Jesus three times, a heart-broken Peter goes back to fishing and is met by the risen Christ asking three times, “Do you love me?” which puts Peter on a new path to share the Good