Monday, November 5, 2012
You’ve heard it…you’ve probably believed it. You may have bet your faith on it…which is why you’re consumed with hopelessness amid the circumstances of your life. It’s a little phrase that goes like this:
“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
Sounds good. It even seems to give us hope and strength to face one more day, but it’s a lie. You hear it often―you may even be constantly saying it to yourself. You’ve believed that no matter what you face, God is never going to allow you to deal with more than you can handle—that brings comfort. It may be what we want to hear, but it’s not what we NEED to hear. We need truth. And the truth is that although this wonderful little phrase has traveled through the generations, it’s not in the Bible. God has NEVER said that He won’t give us more than we can handle. What He has shown is, throughout history, He ALWAYS gives people MORE than they can handle. So, where does this lie come from, and how has Truth been twisted? It comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13:
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (NLT).
The verse is referring to “temptations,” not the troubles of life. We can look at nearly EVERY situation in the Bible where God shows up in miraculous ways and find that He ALWAYS gave people MORE than they could handle. That’s when God shows up on the scene of people’s lives. Moses didn’t part the Red Sea on his own. Daniel should have been devoured in a lion’s den. Who survives walking into a fiery furnace? Goliath should have crushed David, and Jonah should have been left for dead. The storm on the Sea of Galilee was obviously going to drown the Disciples, and even Jesus needed help carrying His Cross. We glean even greater insight into this truth when we look to Paul the Apostle who found himself crushed, beyond his ability to endure. Here’s what we learn from Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8 and the first part of verse 9:
“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure,
and we thought we would never live through it.
9 In fact, we expected to die” (NLT).
Hardly seems like a loving God would allow such saints to go through such anguish, but our faulty thinking is simply because we don’t understand His ways. It is out of His great love for them that He allowed them to face the impossible. Why is that? It’s because of the second part of verse 9 from 2 Corinthians:
“But as a result,
we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God,
who raises the dead”(NLT).
There’s purpose through the pain. God ALWAYS gives us more than we can handle, in order to reveal what He is able to do through our faith in Him. He wants to show us that prayer works. He wants to bring about miracles that go far beyond our imagination. He wants to display His power, presence, and glory. Without situations in life that we CAN’T handle, we’d never need God to show up. Why would we even need to pray at all? We’d never have the opportunity to see our own Red Seas parted. Who wants to miss out on that??
It’s critical to the survival of your faith that you stop believing the lie. Here’s the truth:
If God is only giving you what you CAN handle,
you’re not learning to depend upon God,
you’re not stepping out in faith,
and your faith isn’t growing.
In fact, if you’re facing situations that are far beyond your control, God may be trusting you more than you trust Him. He obviously knows that He’s given you a measure of faith that is much more than you think. If we’ll leave the lie behind and move on in greater faith, knowing that every obstacle is an opportunity for faith to rise above it, we’ll find ourselves experiencing the peace that God promises to give us as we trust in Him.
God’s goal: to bring us to a place where we realize we can’t do it without Him. He wants us to fully realize that we need Him for and in everything we face in life. (And all too often we need to be reminded.) So, if you’re facing the insurmountable and enduring the unthinkable, you can be sure that God is with you . . . it’s time to trust and watch to see how God will show up…because He will.
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