No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV).

When you’re overwhelmed by a problem that isn’t going to get better in a couple days or even weeks, you might begin to falter. The pressure to falter is great—to slip down, go under, give in, lose the battle—and at times we would falter without an exceedingly great and precious promise from God. You need something larger and stronger than your problems. Serious days call for a serious promise: God is always watching; I will not falter.

God is watching, and He wants you to succeed at the Christian life. Considering His great love for you, do you honestly think He would let you go through more than you can handle? No. He won’t let the waters drown you. He will keep the fires from burning you (Isaiah 43:1–2). He won’t allow the temptation to become so strong it knocks you off your feet.

“God actively controls the severity of everything we face.”

In the original Greek of the New Testament, there is just one word for “temptation” and “trial.” It’s used interchangeably, based on the intent of the passage. A trial refers to an adversity allowed by God to transform your character. A temptation is a solicitation to do evil, which could never originate with God (see James 1:13).

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, both meanings are in view. God won’t allow a temptation or a trial into your life that you won’t be able to handle. Neither one will overtake your life or last forever. “God is faithful.”

Every trial and temptation you face is “common to man.” You might feel as if nobody has ever gone through what you’re going through, but that’s false. The enemy tries to paint your difficulties as unique in order to make you falter. Don’t fall for that! In the past, many people have gone through a trial just like yours, and more will in the future. You don’t get singled out for a customized set of temptations. You’re probably getting about average. God will not allow you to be tried beyond your ability to withstand.

He’s watching closely. God actively controls the severity of everything we face. He says, “This far—no further. That’s all. That’s My daughter; I know what she can handle.” God protects His own. He will not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able to handle.

You might argue, “I’m already being tried beyond what I can bear!” But the truth is that God knows you better than you know yourself. You’re not going to lose it. You will survive. You don’t know what you are capable of in God’s strength. You will get through this. The trial won’t last forever.

When the time comes that you really can’t take it anymore, 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises, “He will also provide the way of escape.” With practice you can learn to recognize exit ramps when you see them. “The way of escape” might look like . . .
•An instant end to the trial. When God moves, the mountains get leveled, the floods get lowered, and the sun suddenly breaks through. In my experience, trials end as quickly as they start.
•Encouragement to endure. Out of the blue, God may send another Christian to encourage you and remind you that you’re not alone.
•Wisdom and direction. God may show you a new angle on the problem. So many trials in life hinge for the good on one, simple, God-given piece of wisdom.
•Strength to persevere. There may be days when you don’t think you can face that difficult circumstance or person one more time. God may energize you for a new season of faithfulness.
•A friend to share the burden. Sometimes God dispels the darkness through the comforting assurance of friendship. The way of escape may be someone who has walked the same road before.
•A few days of relief. Sometimes God gives an oasis in the middle of the desert to replenish your reserves. Perhaps those tough circumstances will return for a season, but that temporary relief enables you to endure.

Of course, the variety of exit ramps is as endless as God’s creativity, but you can be confident He won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He doesn’t promise you eight options, or six, or even three—but you will find at least one exit ramp. When you see it, take it. Sometimes He gives us extra strength to endure our trials, but whether you’re enduring or exiting, you will not falter; God is always watching.


Chaplain Rob Dunbar

Growing in Christ

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. – Psalm 26:7

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8

People today are striving for personal improvement, self-empowerment, and inner strength. Yet, Christianity has a completely opposite way of thinking; it’s full of paradoxes. We die to live; we lose to find; we surrender to gain strength.

When Jesus overcame death, he defeated the worst enemy of all. Today we’re left to battle with far lesser foes, knowing that He’s already won the war.

When we stop trying to control the outcome of every situation and stop demanding that God resolves our problems according to our dictates, we unlock the door for God to show us his redemptive purpose.

Praying, ‘Your will be done’ gets us out of God’s way and removes our ideas as to how things are supposed to work out in our lives, and allows God’s ideas to take control.

Are you struggling to be a better follower of Jesus? Are you worried about the future? Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus. A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly without knowing what’s around the corner.

The trust comes from realizing that no matter what may come God will be there right beside you every step of the way!

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. – Henry Ward Beecher


Ch. Dunbar

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. – Philemon 1:4

The great English writer G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

Wow! What a reminder! There’s no doubt in my mind that I could give thanks more often. We set aside meal time, Sunday mornings, and my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. But, don’t let an hour go by without giving thanks . . . for your work, school, kids, health, your spouse, your blessings and your challenges.

When you have a God-awareness about life and when you see and sense Him in your day (in the big things and the little things), it’s hard not to be thankful


Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG

All The Saints

As C.S. Lewis, the writer of the Chronicles of Narnia, once said:  Aim just for earth and that is all you will get. Aim for heaven, and you get both.”

The person of faith is not earth bound. Dust we are and to dust we return, but that is hardly the end of our Christ story. On All Saints Sunday we remember all those faithful departed, family, friends, influences, examples of love and being loved, forgiven and being forgiven. And as we read and hear these scriptures we have reason to rejoice and be glad in what God brings forth in the people of the Kingdom both here and forever. But words fail us at the threshold of death. We can only go so far in description and vivid images since the bible goes into some detail but is often constrained and says “this far…but no further.” We do, however, build upon what we do know and what we have seen exemplary in the lives we remember today. People that lived in faith, hope, love, and in forgiveness. These must continue especially the greatest of these….love.

So, when the 10 year old asks about heaven and pets and games and houses and clothes “up there” we can simply say “we don’t have many pictures of all that but God is good and will do what’s right for His beloved people.” You can fill in some blanks as your faithful imagination allows, but always remember…”we see through a glass darkly.” But then….someday….!”

Praise be to God!

Pastor Barry

Come to the Altar!

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling

Above are stanza’s from a song I heard on my way to work this morning. It is performed by Elevation Worship and it spoke to me and I hope you will look it up so it may speak to you. It reminded me of some things that I need to say to you and to myself daily. How often are we struggling with something, someone, or some issue and we don’t know what to do. How often do we live with regrets of things we have done or left undone? Well I have good news! Come to the Altar of God’s grace and mercy. Everyone is invited and everyone finds a home in God’s arms of love.

I don’t know about you but this is amazing news to my spirit. It’s a truth I need to hear every day. I need to know that my past does not define me. Rather I am defined as a child of God, loved, forgiven, and given new life. Being transparent, I sometimes forget this simple message in the midst of all that I have on my daily agenda. Sometimes I forget that God wants me to bring all of myself to him; the good, the bad, my joy and my sin. That is a hard concept for me at times. I can bring my success to God (that’s easy), however it’s hard to bring my failures to God. It’s hard at times to realize that I need God’s help with my sin.

But that is what God in scripture reminds us over and over. Using words like “Come to me”, “return to me”, “trust me”, we are encouraged to lay down our burdens before God’s altar. And let the freedom of God’s grace, forgiveness, and love wash over us like a wave of peace.

So the question I have for myself and you today is this; What do you need to lay down before the throne of Christ? Is it guilt, anger, or resentment? Is it your past, your failure, or your pride? No matter what you are carrying today you don’t have to carry it alone. Lay your burdens before the altar of God.

And stand amazed in the presence of Jesus our Lord.

“Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy” as the song says above.

When you surrender your burdens and your struggles to God’s care… You are free to rise from the ashes into new life in God’s mercy.

My prayer for each of you today is that you go to the altar of God. I earnestly hope you will lay down the things that you have been carrying and trust that God will lift you from the ashes to new life through is Son Jesus Christ.

My prayers go with you all,

Chaplain Dunbar

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG