Christine Rhyner

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Does God Give Us More Than We Can Handle?
Monday, February 29, 2016 by Christine

 

 

You’re two-years-old. You race to the back door to get to your plastic pool, but it’s bedtime. You collapse on the floor and kick and scream. More than you can handle.

You’re three. You climb on a chair and pull a cookie from the cookie jar. A hand whips it away. It’s dinnertime. You shriek and watch the lid to the jar smash in pieces after you throw it to the floor. More than you can handle.

And so it goes. We want what we don’t get. What we have is taken. We get what we don’t want like a shampoo instead of a swim, or a plate of broccoli instead of chocolate chips. 

Soon, cookies and pools turn into schools, relationships, careers, homes, children, illnesses, accidents, election cycles…Though we mature, we still face trials and denials life brings. Some are the result of other people’s actions. Others we bring on ourselves. Then there are the prayers God doesn’t seem to answer, or He does in a way we dislike. 

Others encourage us through the storms, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” they say. It sounds biblical—but is it? 

Actually, God often gives us much more than we can tolerate. The disciple Paul shares with the Corinthian church his experience in 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.” (2 Corinth. 1:8-9) 

Further on in 2 Corinthians, Paul shares too, suffering of a personal, chronic kind, “…there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” (2 Corinth. 12:7-8) 

What the Bible does say about what we can handle is this, “…God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinth. 10:13) 

The temptation is the flesh’s desire to sin. When what we face conflicts with what we want, when life seems so unfair, our tendencies can run the gamut from using words as daggers to wallowing in self-pity. Rather, we are to opt for God’s “way out.” This is the misnomer of “If God allows it, you can handle it.” This thinking implies that if we dig deep, we find within ourselves strength to face any trial. But, to effectively deal with the trouble Jesus says we will face in the world (John 16:33), we are not to look inward, but God-ward, as Paul did: “…this “happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God...” 2 Corinth. 1:9. 

God’s strength is for the believer. If one lives outside of His promises, they cannot depend on them. However, He can and does use loss and tragedy to force people to see that they really need Him. Furthermore, God does not promise to eliminate our suffering. Paul explains that God would not relieve his ongoing torment so that he would not become proud. The Lord told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinth. 8-9.

For reasons we often do not understand, God gives us more than we can handle. But there can be a beauty in this: to demonstrate to a hurting world His power and strength in human weakness. So, when someone asks, “How did you get through that?” we can choose to answer, “By God’s grace and strength.”

http://www.neilvermillion.com/prophetic/daily-prophetic-word/ 

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