March 16, 2017

More Than You Can Handle (part 2)

Yesterday, we began an inspection of the phrase, "God will never give you more than you can handle."  This statement is true only if you are a fully surrendered child of God, depending on Him and His strength to carry you through life's troubles.  When taken out of that context, this saying can be misleading and even harmful. Nonbelievers or Christians new to the faith  can get the idea that God wants them to handle everything on their own. Even worse, if God really never gives us more than we can handle, what use would we have for God, anyway?

The truth of the matter is that God regularly gives us more than we can handle.  The Bible makes this clear time and time again.  Our own weakness is a pervasive theme throughout the Bible, and Paul states the matter in no uncertain terms:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.    
 ~2 Corinthians 12:9

Observe two lines from Psalm 70...
Verse 1: Make haste, O God, to deliver me!Make haste to help me, O Lord!
Verse 5: But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.

Or these verses from Psalm 88:1-3...
O Lord, God of my salvation,
I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.

God's strength is displayed in our greatest moments of weakness, when we are at the end of our ropes and can't find the strength to go on.  When you come to the end of yourself and call on God for help, His power and strength are made manifest within you.  

The list of verses which point toward our human weakness goes on and on.  The Bible drives the point home time and time again that we cannot make it through life while depending on our strength alone.  Jesus Himself says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5, emphasis mine)  

Whether during times of great turmoil, or in moments of power and triumph, it is God's work within us that carries us through.  I'm sure that most of you reading this have also read the poem about footprints in the sand.  Jesus reveals at the end of that poem that the places where only one set of prints was visible are the moments when He carries us; when we can't continue on without Him. 

So when we find someone in need of an encouraging word, let us not say, "God won't give you more than you can handle."  Instead, let us point them toward the God who carries us through the desert.

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