Monday, October 8, 2012

Desperate Times.

No where in the Bible does God promise that He will not give us more than we can handle. I think the misconception comes from a distorted reading of 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. But while you may suffer while you are tempted, there are many kinds of suffering that have nothing to do with temptation.

I believe that God very often overwhelms us with much more than we can handle. Paul seemed to think so, too:
"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 Corinthians 1:8-9, emphasis added).
Sounds like David, who was anointed as the future king, but for years lived in caves in exile, running in fear from murderous Saul. Sounds like Job, who served and honored God wholeheartedly, and yet in a single day lost everything. Sounds like Jesus, who lived a sinless life, pleading that the cup might be passed from him as he wept tears of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. I'll bet that they, as well as the vast majority of other characters we meet in Scripture, would say God gave them way more than they could handle.

And in the midst of our sorrows, the question that pounds us over and over is: Why? What happened to the God who claimed to love us? Where do we turn to for hope? Well, keep reading. Paul has an answer.
"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," (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).
Don't you see, beloved? God didn't promise that He would never give us more than we could handle. He promised that He would never give us more than He could handle. And His power is infinite. It's okay to feel inadequate, and overwhelmed. It's okay to realize that you can't do this. It's okay to admit impossibilities. He knew you couldn't do this in your own strength; He never expected you to. All along, He's been waiting for you to give your burden to Him. He doesn't want you to carry it anymore. He wants to give you the yoke that is easy, and light. And then, we may join Paul in saying:
"This all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting way, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all," (2 Corinthians 4:7-8; 16-17).

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