God Will Never…
Last month I shared a devotional based on Psalm 40 when David, the Psalmist, in many ways, felt like he was “at the end of his rope.”
He was overwhelmed by the difficult life situations he was facing and there was no end in sight.
He used very vivid word pictures to describe how he felt…
· “Slimy pit”
· “Mud and mire”
I made the statement that, “I am at the end of my rope” probably means something different for every person who uses it!
· To be out of options
· or alternative courses of action
· To be stuck in a bad situation
“I’m at the end of my rope” could be…
· I lost my job/car keys/mind
· My car died and I don’t have any money in the bank.
· “Everything is happening at once”
· “I don’t think I can take any more”
We know that a “rope” can be thrown to someone who is in a difficult place…
· such as deep water
· or the edge of a cliff
· or in quick sand.
If there is not enough rope, the person might be in really big trouble. So to be “at the end of your rope” means that there is no more help available, and the situation is not good.
I went on to say, “If you’ve ever been AT THE END OF YOUR ROPE, you probably can also identify with the concept of being….
· “In a jam”
· “At your wit’s end”
· “Between a rock and a hard place”
Well, this morning I would like to address a falsehood, a very misleading falsehood, that is often used as either a way to comfort ourselves or someone else who is going through difficult times and feels like they have reached their limit.
The untruth that has been perpetrated by many well-meaning Christians, has no sound biblical basis. It is this: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
Or to make it more personal, “God won’t give me more than I can handle.”
Give me a few minutes and I will show you where this untruth most likely came from,
but first let’s look at some of our Biblical “heroes” and consider whether this statement is true from a Biblical perspective.
If you are one who truly believes that “God won’t give you more than you can handle…”
…Well, let’s consider the life of the Apostle Paul who says in…
1 Corinthians 11…
I have worked much harder,
been in prison more frequently,
been flogged more severely,
and been exposed to death again and again.
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods,
once I was pelted with stones,
three times I was shipwrecked,
I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
26 I have been constantly on the move.
I have been in danger from rivers,
in danger from bandits,
in danger from my fellow Jews,
in danger from Gentiles;
in danger in the city,
in danger in the country,
in danger at sea;
and in danger from false believers.
27 I have labored and toiled
and have often gone without sleep;
I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food;
I have been cold and naked.
28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
And he got bit by a snake and later beheaded!
If you were living Paul’s life…
If you were walking in his shoes, at what point…
· Would you have been ready to pack up and go home?
Forget this missionary business!
Seriously! At what point…
· Would you have had too much
· Or been at the end of your rope
· Or felt like you had surely hit rock bottom?
Is it even plausible to believe that Paul never felt like the stuff he faced every day was way more than he bargained for?
Or let’s take JOB…
· Who lost just about everything in the blink of an eye!
When all was said and done, all he had left was…
· a boil infested body
· a wounded, grieving, bitter wife (who surely had far more she could handle!
We rarely consider her plight.)
· And friends who weren’t a lot of help
Tell me that a man who wishes he had never been born would agree that “God never gives you more than you can handle!”
· first with the unrelenting Pharaoh
· And later with the obstinate, rebellious, grumbling children of Israel.
Seriously, you don’t think he had more than he could handle?
Or the famous Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame People…
…who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
36 Some faced jeers and flogging,
and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were put to death by stoning;
they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword.
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,
destitute, persecuted and mistreated—
38 the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains,
living in caves and in holes in the ground.
Does anyone still believe that “God won’t give you more than you can handle?”
If you know the word of God well, then you also know that I could go on giving examples of people who experienced FAR more than they could personally handle.
So where in the world did this misguided notion come from?
The only possible place it could have come from is a scripture coined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when he says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Now that’s one you can dare to believe!
What provision does God make to help us when we are tempted?
· The Word…which points us to all truth and instructs us with regard to right and wrong.
Our responsibility is to know the Word and to put it into practice.
· The Holy Spirit who convicts us of sins and lead us in the way we should go.
Our responsibility is to seek Him and obediently make wise and godly choices.
· Our Will
· Hopefully, you pray for the wisdom to make wise choices!
· Brothers and Sisters in Christ who can support, encourage and pray for us when we need it.
Our responsibility is to invite others to hold us accountable
· To ask us tough questions
· To seek godly advice and support when we find ourselves tempted.
· We have the ability to run the other way!
Last month in the Daily Bread this scripture was highlighted one morning and this example was used.
Highway 77, which passes through the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, features a series of runaway truck ramps. These semi-paved exits appear in an area of the highway where the altitude drops nearly 1,300 feet over the course of about 6 miles. This steep descent combined with the road’s winding path can create problems for motorists—especially truck drivers.
Just as a runaway truck needs an escape route from a highway, we also need “a way of escape” when out-of-control desires threaten our spiritual well-being.
When we face temptation, “[God will] make the way of escape, that [we] may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). God enables us to say “no” to enticement through the power of His Word. Jesus conquered Satan’s temptation relating to food, authority, and trust by quoting verses from Deuteronomy (Matt. 4:4-10). Scripture helped Him resist the devil despite the effects of a 40-day fast in the wilderness.
When we are tempted, we may feel like disaster is just around the bend. Memories of past failure and isolation from others can intensify this feeling. However, we can trust God in moments of temptation; He is faithful. He will provide a way for us to resist sin’s allure.
Did you catch that last line? Let me read it again…
“However, we can trust God in moments of temptation;
· He is faithful.
· He will provide a way for us to resist sin’s allure.”
Now let me rephrase it to answer today’s dilemma..
“We can trust God in moments of overwhelming distress; He is faithful.”
Every single one of the dozens of individuals spoken of in Hebrews 11 were surely given
more than they could handle. But they all had one thing in common…FAITH.
· They lived
· They died
· They were martyred
· They gave all!
Here’s another truth to can depend on… God may not be the one to give you more than you can handle, but believe me, the enemy of your heart and soul and the world we live in will pour it on by the bucketful!
Jesus Himself said…
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
In this world you will have more trouble than you can possibly bear on your own, but don’t blame God either…He has made provision for that as well!
You were never meant to bear the trouble of this world on your own…
· You have the promises of God: to never leave you nor forsake you.
· Hopefully, you have a faith to believe the promises of God!
· You have the finished work of Christ to make it all worthwhile:
To live is Christ, to die is gain!
· You have the comfort and provision of the Holy Spirit
· You have the body of Christ to share in your times of joy and sorrow.
To be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus when you need it.
· Of what you are facing today
· Or any day in the future
· No matter what the world
· Or the enemy throws at you…
May your faith, in a faithful God, see you through triumphantly and victoriously!
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
· Shall trouble
· or hardship
· or persecution
· or famine
· or nakedness
· or danger
· or sword?
36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither
· death nor life,
· neither angels nor demons,
· neither the present nor the future,
· nor any powers,
· neither height nor depth,
· nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Believe me! You can cling to those truths with all of your heart, mind and soul!