By Tessa Emily Hall, Crosswalk.com
Any time I scroll through Pinterest or Instagram, I never fail to come across inspirational and motivational Christian-themed quotes. These quotes may not necessarily be a Bible verse, but they may mention God and encourage us by giving us a pat on the back. Some people may automatically assume they came from the Bible. A popular quote is the one that says, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” In other words, God doesn’t allow us to face suffering and hardship unless He has a plan for us to walk through it and conquer. Although this quote may certainly leave us feeling good, especially while facing a storm in life, is this quote biblical? Should Christians use this popular saying to encourage one another?
What Is the Origin of the Phrase 'If God Brings You to it, He Will Bring You Through It'?
It is uncertain when and how this phrase became popular, but my guess is that it began with the rise of social media. The popularity of this quote has risen within the past two decades or so, and it is now displayed across Christian products, such as mugs and wall art. Many authors and well-known pastors have peppered this quote into their books and sermons, and some claim that it originally garnered popularity amongst preachers of the prosperity gospel.
We can assume that the original author of this phrase wrote this based on various stories in the Bible, such as the story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea that God had parted for them (see Exodus 14) and the story Jonah and the big fish, among others.
It is also likely that this quote was based on the Scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:13, which states, “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.”
Is This Phrase Biblical?
If we are to cling to certain Christian sayings to provide hope and encouragement for ourselves and for others, then it’s important that we don’t do this until we first line the validity of it against the Bible.
So is it true that “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it?”
Throughout the Bible, we read stories about how God has allowed suffering to enter the lives of believers. Take a look at Job, for instance. God intentionally allowed the enemy to wreak havoc in his life. We can also examine the life of God’s own Son. He didn’t shield Jesus from the pain and suffering that the cross brought, did He? And yet His death was necessary to pave the way for new birth.
Sometimes, death and trials are a necessary part of our life as a Christian. They’re inescapable. God grooms us through the pain, too, as evident in James 1:2-3: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
Throughout the Bible, God remains sovereign over the lives of those who seek Him. We can trust that He is in control over all matters in our own lives as well.
However, we must remember that we have been given free will in life. If we choose to forsake following God and the principles in His Word, then the consequences and suffering reaped from our actions may not necessarily be God’s plan for our lives. But thank God that Jesus has come to give us a restart. He never fails to withhold mercy, grace, and redemption upon those who turn back to Him and seek His face (see Hebrews 4:16).
God helps us during our sufferings and trials as well. We were never called to face life’s storms through our own strength.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 makes that clear:
“…So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In this passage, Paul talks about the “thorn” in his flesh, a type of suffering brought on by Satan, which God had allowed him to face. Why? To accomplish the purpose of keeping him from becoming proud.
From this Scripture, we see a few biblical truths: 1) God allows us to go through suffering. And if He allows us to face trials, then He must have a purpose and a plan for it. 2) We do not face hardships on our own. If we were to face them with our own strength, then we would be buried beneath its weight. This is why we must rely on God during these times so we can receive His strength in our weaknesses.
We also know that suffering does not last forever for those who are in Christ. Even if we continue to face a certain trial throughout the rest of our lifespan, we can still look forward to the day when we will be free from all pain and hardships in eternity (see Revelation 21:4). So, yes, God will bring us through it. We will see the victory.
There will be an end to our temporary suffering; not only that, but if we continue to persevere through these trials and tests, we will someday receive a “crown of life” (see James 1:12).
The bottom line is this: God never leaves nor forsakes His children as we suffer. He holds our hands. He guides us. He is the orchestrator of every detail of our lives—but we must continue to seek Him first and walk in obedience. He empowers us, with His strength, so we can persevere. And He remains by our side as we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (see Psalm 23).
That is simply the kind of good God that we serve.
Are There Any Verses that Are Similar to 'If God Brings You to It'?
As mentioned earlier, this verse was likely based on 1 Corinthians 10:13. We must realize, however, that in this passage Paul was referring to temptations of idolatry and evil rather than suffering. God is faithful to help us bear, and escape, the temptations that we face.
Regardless, it is still biblically accurate that God is faithful to help us bear the weight of our suffering as well. (Although He might not help us to escape them.)
God can transform suffering to be used for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Jesus’ death is evidence of this.
In Philippians 4, Paul talks about how He has learned how to be “content with whatever I have” (verse 11). His secret to facing suffering, He goes on to state, is that he can do “all things through Christ who strengthens me” (verse 13). This indicates that we do not need to be defeated by our circumstances; rather, God can help us endure as we rely on Him.
We find similar hope—that we can press on through trials because of Christ’s power within us—in Romans 8:35,37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Why Is it Important to Exercise Discernment with Phrases from Outside the Bible?
God’s Word is the only word to be trusted to provide the complete truth, and it is the only truth that we need to abide by in life. The words we speak, as humans, will one day fade, but God’s Word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). When we reach eternity, we will give an account for how we have lived our lives according to Scripture—not according to how we lived it based on the sermons we heard or the Christian books we read. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
Christian-based quotes and phrases can be viewed through multiple perspectives; thus, there is always a risk that one person may claim it to have a different meaning than what the author intended. This is what can happen when any quote, including verses from Scripture, is snagged from its original context and intent.
For example, some people claim that this popular saying suggests it is God’s will for us to live a trial-free life while He does all the work on our behalf. And then others may wonder, If my suffering has been brought on by a sinful decision on my part, then does that mean God won’t bring me through it?
When our theology is based on God’s Word alone—and not on man’s interpretation of God’s Word or Scriptures that are used out of context—then we will have the ability to discern the truth from a lie. We will have the biblical context we need to keep our theology grounded, free from error. And when we come across “feel good” quotes, such as this one, let us take a moment to use discernment before spreading it around to others. We can do this by asking: Do I like this quote because it makes me happy? Because it makes me feel comfortable in my faith? These are the kind of quotes we especially need to use discernment for; after all, we don’t want to become like the people mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4:
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”
So back to the original question: Should Christians say, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it?” Is this a valid statement?
Well, my Bible tells me that God is a good Father who cares for His children—even while they suffer. The same God who empowered David to face Goliath can empower me to face the giants in my own life as well. It is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit that we can, and will, attain victory over death and suffering.
Not only has Jesus already faced the worst of conditions that this world could offer, but He conquered its stronghold. This Living Christ abides within us; therefore, there is nothing that life may throw our way that will ever be too powerful for Him to overcome. But don’t just take my word for it. Open the Word for yourself. Because as much as I’d like to speak hope into your circumstances, ultimately my words could never carry the same authoritative power as God’s Word does. My words may only scratch the surface, whereas God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). The books and articles I write will someday fade, but “the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
It is only through feeding on this bread daily that we will remain spiritually strong (Matthew 4:4), empowered by the Holy Spirit to face this life. It is only through abiding in His Word that we receive light amid this dark and decaying world (Psalm 119:105) and the hope that we are so desperate for.
With that being said, I think it’s about time we make God’s Word more popular than these Christian sayings. Wouldn’t you agree?
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/metamorworks
Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who wrote her debut novel when she was sixteen. She is now a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction inspirational yet authentic books for teens, including her latest release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (October 2020, Ellie Claire). Tessa's passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She is guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, teaching at writing conferences, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers is on her mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.