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Hopeless cases?

02-12-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

image3 By mail I received the following question:

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 is written that God doesn’t tempt beyond ability. I struggle with the question how it is possible that there are believing people who commit suicide. For them it was too much, isn’t it? You might say that they have been tempted beyond ability. They  couldn’t handle life anymore and escaped in suicide. I’m very interested in your explanation.

In 1 Corinthians Paul literally writes:

13 No trial has taken you except what is human. Now, faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried above what you are able, but, together with the trial, will be making the sequel also, to enable you to undergo it.

Let this verse shine on the question: how about the believers who committed suicide, for them who weren’t up to life? Did God allow that they were tempted beyond ability? Doesn’t He provide a way out for them? And if the answer is yes, wouldn’t we be compelled to question the faithfulness of God? First, let’s remember that in the preceding verses Paul argued that all the people who went out Egypt (except only two men) had died in the desert, so without arriving in the Promised Land. That all happened in the middle of trials like idolatry, fornication and ungratefulness. They didn’t stand firm because of disbelief. Were the trials beyond ability? Paul says: No, God would not have allowed that. God is faithful. And together with trails in any case He will also give the outcome of his promises. That outcome guarantees that God always provides enough to stand firm in any situation. But that does not guarantee that a man can’t fall. Indeed, Paul says in the previous verse:

12 So that, let him who is supposing he stands beware that he should not be falling.

The call in this verse is that man would stand firm on the reliable Word of God. If not, sooner or later, one falls into temptation. For that reason Paul repeats constantly his call to become settled, unmovable and superabounding  (1 Corinthians 15:58) in the expectation of the evangel (Colossians 1:23). That is vital. Crucial for life. Because without that Word, we would die in this evil eon. Fundamentally the believer who commits suicide is not acting differently from believers who fall into other temptations. Both don’t stand firm on the Word and both miss the outcome. Suicide differs only because it’s irreparable for human beings. Paul assures us: The trials are never too heavy. But it is fatal when we doubt Gods faith and his providing and hopeful power. Those who decide  to finish their lives are not without hope or without deliverance. That is only what they think. And just because of that deception people can fall prey to a feeling of hopelessness, so that, out of despair, they commit suicide In short, the message of 1 Corinthians 10 is one of hope. For GOD IS FAITHFUL – He never forsakes the works of his hands. He always gives deliverance! For Him hopeless cases don’t exist. Never. On that foundation a man can stand in every trial! 1_blog_13 MB

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