Wednesday, December 23, 2015

God Won't Give Us More Than We Can Handle

     I've been teaching a class on Sunday mornings on things the Bible doesn't say.  I admit, I stole the material from Rick Atchley.  But it is good stuff.   Last Sunday I talked of the common phrase that we use that says, "God will never give me more than I can handle."  Where does it say that?  A quick look at the verse we use is I Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And 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.   

     There it is.  Does that sound remotely like God won't give us more than we can handle?  He said He would provide a way out of sin, but not of burdens.  In fact, a quick survey of Scripture tells us there will be suffering.  Ask Job about this.  Ask Paul.

     Paul says there were times in his life when he just couldn't handle what life handed out to him.  In II Corinthians 1:8 listen to what he says:

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.  

     See that?  He said they suffered far beyond their ability to endure.  They had more than they could handle.  I received a call this week from a deal soul who believed the original premise (God won't give you more than you can handle) was gospel.  The problems she had in life were handled just by repeating that mantra.  I feel like I destroyed her faith.  I read her the passage from II Corinthians, but I added verse 9 and 10 which says:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.  

     She seemed a little disappointed.  But she was relying on herself and not God.  God says, when all else has failed, when there is nowhere else to turn, it's God who will save us.  And Paul calls it "gracious favor" here.  When talking about his thorn in the flesh, he says, "God's grace is sufficient."

     God didn't say he wouldn't give us more than we could handle.  He did say, I will handle it for you if you just let go.  It reminds me of an song we sing...."He is able, more than able......."


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