1 Corinthians 10:13b – 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)
2 Corinthians 12:9a – Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (NLT)
"God won't put more on you than you can handle."
Many a well-meaning Christian has made this statement — or some form of it — to someone who's going through a tough time. To a woman who has miscarried. To a man who has watched his wife walk out and leave him holding the bag — and everything in it. To the wife who has received the news that her husband has just been killed in the line of duty. Or to the child whose parents keep telling him that he's no good and will never amount to anything.
I've heard it said — and maybe have said it myself in the heat of the moment before I had time to think about what I was saying. Perhaps, I just nodded my head in agreement with the one who was saying it, or agreed with the devastated person who said it themselves to me.
This isn't the only thing that I've heard attributed to God or to the Bible that wasn't true — or was at the least misinterpreted. There is a similar promise, but it applies only to temptation. God doesn't promise to prevent temptation, but He does promise not to let it overwhelm us. He also promises to give us a way out so that we don't have to fall into sin.
Paul had a thorn in the flesh. Opponents? A handicap? Poor eyesight? Who knows? What it was isn't important. How he responded is. When God told Paul that He wasn't going to remove it, Paul accepted it. God assured Paul that His grace was sufficient to live with it, move through it, and get over it. After all, God works best when I acknowledge my weaknesses.
The truth of the matter is that apart from temptation, God will put more on me than I can handle. If I could handle everything, I wouldn't need God — and many don't think they do. They use their wisdom, resources, friends, acquaintances, or addictive substances to get through — all the while proclaiming that they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
I suppose that I've been guilty a few times of thinking that I could handle what life threw at me, only to discover that I wasn't as strong as I thought. I crumbled beneath the load — or succumbed to the temptation to find something, or someone, to help me get through.
God puts more on us than we can handle so that we'll come running to Him for guidance and strength, so that we'll realize that we were created to live life under His authority and love.
Don't try to handle life's burdens on your own. God wants to lighten your load.
Prayer: Father, thank You for handling our burdens so that we don't have to labour under the load of trying to do it ourselves. Amen.
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