“The Bible says God will not put more on you than you can bear.” I heard that statement about four times one week all from well-meaning people trying to help those struggling in difficult situations.
But are they right? Is that in the Bible? I looked – hard. I didn’t find anything in the Bible that specifically said God will not give a Christian more than they can handle. I did find a verse that said God will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). I found another verse that says God will not let Christians be tempted beyond their ability because He will always provide a way out of that temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). There are several more verses that refer to God’s help in times of trouble but none about how we can overcome apart from Him.
Hopefully, people are implying God can see you through anything. After all, He is able, sufficient, powerful, helpful, etc. But, if you leave it unknown or implied and just assume they get it, they probably didn’t. Will you have more in this life put on you than you alone can bear? Yes. Will God put more on you than He can bear? Never. Apart from God, we can do nothing. Those aren’t my words, but Jesus’ in John 15:5. He is the vine and we are the branches. If we remain in Him and He remains in us we will bear much fruit but apart from Him we can do nothing.
Only God can bring healing, restoration, and resurrect dead things. Does this mean that we are incapable of figuring out how to deal with things without God? We have all tried things to bring comfort and sense back to our lives. But apart from God, our attempts usually come up short even if they seem to work initially. Ask yourself this question – If God already knows the plan and solution before you had the problem then why not go to Him first instead of trying everything else and finally resorting lastly to God?
On our own we always have more than we can handle. On his own, David had a giant facing him that no teenage boy could have conquered. On his own, Daniel was Lion food. Paul faced beatings, imprisonment, hardships, and ridicule that would have caused the strongest leader to run. People often misquote 1 Corinthians 10:13. It is about temptation to sin. God DID say He would not let you be tempted as a Christian above being able to resist it. There is ALWAYS a way out of sin – ALWAYS.
Paul said, “we are hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8). Is this because of our intelligence, perseverance, determination, and winning personalities? Not a chance. It is because, “the one who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus” (v. 14). The troubles he faced brought God’s presence and grace and reached more and more people (v. 15). We should not lose heart because of outward problems because Jesus is renewing us inwardly (v. 16). What we face with God’s help is light and momentary and is achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs the problems (v. 17).
Stephen Harrison is associate pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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