More than you can handle?

Have you ever been in a situation which just seemed like it was going to bury you? A situation so desperate, so out-of-control that you felt as if you would drown beneath it?

All of us have experienced situations such as this-some more than others but regardless, we can all familiarize with that angst we experience when everything seems to be crashing down around us. As Christians, we are told things like ‘God is there and will help you get through it’ or ‘God will provide’ or catchy quips such as ‘If God brings you to it, then He will bring you through it’ or even ‘God will never give you more than you can handle’. This last one is the saying I want to bring your focus upon. Many people use this quote as if it were scripture itself. Why, I even have used in this in the past at one time or another, I’m pretty sure. But here is the thing-Is this scriptural? Is this what the Bible teaches?

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As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are blessed to have One who is there for us in times of trouble. We do not have to ‘do life’ alone-all by our lonesome. We have a God who is above everything in this world; One who is completely sovereign; One who is never taken surprise by something that happens in our life. The apostle Paul stated in his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church that God ‘comforts us in all our troubles’ (2 Cor 1:4). Jesus describes the role of the Holy Spirit plays in our lives with words such as, Counselor and Comforter.  The Psalms declare Him to be ‘Our very present help in time of trouble (need)’. God is absolutely to be our source of strength in times of trouble.

There is a huge misnomer being taught in the body of Christ today, which implies that as believers we will never have any hardship. Not true. Not true at all and in all honestly, a complete lie from the devil (could get into this more deeply but will save that for another time, another blog). Many times you will hear a statement that which says ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. You will have peace, love and happiness and God has a wonderful plan for your life.’ Well this sounds great! Now much of this is true but the flipside of this seems to be omitted quite often in evangelism and even messages to the church. What you don’t hear preached very often are statements like “Not only has it been granted to you on behalf of Christ to believe on Him but also to suffer for Him” or “Don’t be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you”. As Christians we will go through hardship. We will suffer, not only in just worldly affairs but also for the sake of the cross. We will suffer the loss of our loved ones. We may suffer various setbacks in life such as divorce, bankruptcy, losing our job,  a child going astray in life or even losing everything and ending up homeless on the streets with nowhere to go.

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Inevitable amidst one of these things, the consummate Christians will utter the the statement “God will never give you more than you can handle”. Really? Really?  Well here is the thing: that sounds all nice and spiritual-even quite holy and God-trusting doesn’t it. But it’s scripturally incorrect. I’m pretty sure God allows us to go through more than we can handle-quite often in fact. If it wasn’t more than we could handle then, well…we could just do it all on our own couldn’t we?. Now before someone gets all up in arms about this statement, let’s examine what the scriptures have to say. The apostle Paul affirms this very notion in his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church.  Earlier I quoted verse 4 but a little bit farther down in that same chapter, Paul expounds on the subject of suffering & comfort. In verses 8-9 it states, ‘We do not want you to be uninformed brothers about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But all this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril…” Here Paul makes the validation that God will allow us to go through situations beyond our own ability to endure-beyond our own means to handle the situation and deliver ourselves.

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God longs to prove Himself to us time and again in our lives. He is greater than our problem. He is greater than our situation! Romans 4:17 says He is the ‘God who gives life to the dead and call things that are not as though they were’. Glory to God! If even the apostle Paul was beyond ability to get out of the mess he was in, don’t you think it’s fair to assess that we will have the same struggles? Paul also tells of a situation where he was tormented by the devil and just couldn’t seem to get rid himself out of the problem. He pleaded with God to take it away. God’s response…

‘My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in your weakness…for when I am weak, then am I strong (through Christ).’ (2 Cor 9:10)

 Jesus told his disciples in the Gospel of John ‘In this world you will have trouble but take heart, for I have overcome the World.’ We will have trouble in this world-that’s for sure. Things will happen that will seem to be beyond our ability to endure. Situations will arise that will simply be out of our control but we serve a God who is more than enough. He is there to see us through these obstacles and difficulties in life. We have to trust in Him though. We have to stop trying to fix things ourselves which leads to exhaustion and hopelessness. Begin to believe today in the God of the Bible-the God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites; the God saved Daniel when he was thrown into a pit with hungry lions; the God that granted supernatural strength to a man named Samson to smite his enemies; the God that raised Jesus from the dead, conquered sin, hell and the grave and has given us eternal life! Put your faith in Jesus for He is the anchor for our soul through all things in this life!!

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