By Anne Peterson, Crosswalk.com
You’re not sure how much longer you can hang on. You’re in the middle of a trial, desperately needing some encouragement.
Someone quotes you 1 Corinthians 10:13. Although the verse is talking about temptations and how God will provide a way out, they make this statement.
“You know, God will never give you more than you can handle.”
And you wonder, what is the matter with me then?
I love God’s Word. I have saturated myself with it since 1971. But sometimes the right verse given at the wrong time hurts. People assume when we hurt that we don’t remember what’s true. We remember it, we’re grappling with it. And God is okay with that.
I”m sure there are more, but here are 4 reasons God DOES give us more than we can handle.
1. Our Faith Needs to Grow
When we were first introduced to Jesus we learned some basics. We are born sinners. We cannot get into heaven with our sin. Jesus came and died for our sins, shedding his perfect blood.
Everything we know about God we’ve had to learn. And little by little we learned how to trust him. Our baby faith needed to mature. And one of the best ways to grow our faith is through trials.
So, the trials started coming. Just like David who one day fought Goliath. He didn’t start with Goliath. No. God showed David he would be there with him when he fought a lion and one day a bear. Then David’s faith grew till he could stand before the giant Philistine, confident that the same God who helped him fight the lion and the bear would be with him as he faced Goliath.
2. Our Self-Reliance Needs to Die
Way in the beginning of scripture, we learn about how we like to go our own ways. We live in a world which encourages us to be our own person. And when we fall, we’re told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
But this is contrary to what we learn in scripture. In the Bible, we are encouraged to lean on God, not on our own understanding, in Proverbs 3:5-6. He’s the one who will make our paths straight. We’re to lean on him, not on our own abilities.
3. We Need to Learn about God’s Character
Trials teach us God is faithful. No matter who knows and loves you, no one who loves you more than God does. His love is the greatest love there is.
And even though you may have others in your life who will be there for you, God has promised he will never leave you. He’s in it for the whole game.
God is patient and long-suffering. So he doesn’t care how long the trial is, he’s staying.
4. God Will Get the Glory
Whether you’re aware of it or not, others watch you. And if you claim to be a Christ follower, they are watching you closely.
There’s something different about those who know God personally. When we go through difficult things, God gives us the strength to do it.
People notice that difference and it makes them wonder why. Sometimes they may even ask you why you are different.
And God gets the glory.
Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane and he was facing death. He asked God if it were possible that the cup would be passed. That he wouldn’t have to go to the cross. But it wasn’t passed. Jesus went through all of it because of God’s love. And God received the glory.
When you are with someone who is struggling. Be with them, but don’t tell them God will never give them more than they can handle.
If it were true, we wouldn’t need God at all. And we do. Every single day.
We need to remember God does not think like us. He tells us this in Isaiah 55:9. Once God gave me this poem to remind me, he and I don’t think the same.
You are God
A lump of clay am I before you,
frowning at your forming fingers,
whining at each little whittle,
every single step.
In your time, my form is finished,
still I keep my comments coming,
disappointed in your details,
questioning your work.
Then it’s time to feel the furnace,
and my indignation heightens,
Do you know how hot the heat is?
Have you felt the fire?
Yet, you still continue working,
unaffected by my screaming.
Wanting only my completion,
on and on you work.
And finished now, I sit before you,
glazed and shining your reflection.
In this process to completion,
lessons I have learned.
Each procedure I would question,
armed with arrogance astounding,
till at last, I see so clearly,
You are God, not me.
As you go through your next trial, just remember, God does give us more than we can handle.
But never more than he can handle. He’s God.
Anne Peterson is the published author of Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival, and three children’s books: Emma’s Wish, The Crooked House and Lulu’s Lunch. She is a poet, speaker and freelance author of 42 published Bible Studies and 27 articles with christianbiblestudies.com and Today’s Christian Woman. You can find out more about Anne by visiting her site at www.annepeterson.com or her Facebook page.
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Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock/diego_cervo
Publication date: February 19, 2015