In seven days I will have major surgery on my back. I have been operated on many times so this shouldn’t be anything new; yet I have been filled with fear. Toughness has been my moniker for most of these seventy-one years. I’ve endured many injuries, some from serving my country, others incurred as a result of alcoholism and a few from blatant stupidity. I’ve been sober for thirty-five years and born again in 2004. Therefore you would think the approaching operation would be a cake-walk. But, such is not the case. The following words of scripture, given to me by the best wife a man could ever have has injected courage in a man who has prided himself with guts and daring. Why my courage did seemingly disappear? I believe I now know why; I gave up. Mentally beat up by life’s rocky shores I lost sight of the one thing that was always there, the singular wand of power; humor. I began to dim. Like a light gradually losing its brightness, barely noticeable. Perhaps this is akin to aging, I do not know, however change is in the offing. The Native American Chief Seattle said “Take only memories leave nothing but footprints. “ The footprints I leave today will be followed by many. I’m not a martyr nor a victim…You know, the people who say things like “don’t bother; I’ll just sit here in the dark”. I am a realist blessed with tenacity and the following brought me to my senses:
Answer: First Corinthians 10:13 says, “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.” This Scripture teaches us a powerful principle. If we belong to Him, God will not allow any difficulty to come into our lives that we are not capable of bearing.
So, anything that comes our way, anything that tempts us, any tragedy that befalls us—we are capable of overcoming it and achieving spiritual victory. That does not mean life will always be easy. On the contrary—the fact that we may need a “way of escape” indicates that God sometimes allows difficult trials to come into our lives. We may not believe that we can overcome them, we may doubt our own strength to prevail, and we may even fail in the test. That does not mean, though, that we are not capable of overcoming that particular temptation. Whatever the temptation is, God promises that we will be able to overcome it.
But what does it mean to “overcome” trials? It means the trials do not overcome our faith or our position as children of God, and we come through the trials intact. Our eternal destiny is not in danger because we are kept by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us as a down payment on our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14). No trial can overcome our salvation, because our salvation is of God. Therefore, the child of God will stand firm through the trials, kept by God’s hand. This is proof that our salvation is real and our reward in heaven awaits us. James 1:12 assures us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those “Does God promise to not give us more than we can handle?”