As a child I always heard in church “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Where on earth did this come from? Do we really think we’re THAT strong? Like, do we really believe it’s about us? I feel like that phrase. first, takes the glory and focus off of God. Okay, so some of you are probably confused and like, what on earth are you talking about Ashlee? Do me a favor, read it again, I’ll even put it here again for you: God won’t give you more than you can handle. Tell me who it appears that quote focuses on? To me, it appears to focus on you and how much you can handle. Second, I feel like it sets us up for failure, really. I mean, how many times have you felt like a failure because you weren’t strong enough to make it on your own. You couldn’t keep up with it all, you can’t hold it all together anymore? Guess what, sweet friend, you were not made to have to handle it all on your own. You were made to need Him, to want Him, to seek Him.
As believers we know this: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31 With that
in mind, would walking up to someone and saying “I sure handled that” be giving God the glory? OR would a situation where you say “There’s no way I would have been able to make it through that without God, in fact, He did it, because there is no way I could’ve handled it” give God the glory?
I believe that God does allow us to go through “more than we can handle”, He wants us to rely on HIM. Our focus should be on Him. Yes, He gives us the strength to get through hard times – but it’s
just that – HE GIVES US THE STRENGTH, we don’t do it – we don’t handle it on our own.
Have you ever noticed that when the focus is all on you or the problem at hand, as a believer, it generally seems to get worse? It’s when we’re spent and broken, weakened and humble that we go crawling to Jesus and cry out with all that we have left for Him to take it. Y’all, He’s there, He’s always there, often times – okay, most of the time, just waiting for us to admit that we need Him, that we need His strength.
Isaiah 40:29 says, He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” LUKE 21:34-36
Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through him who strengthens me. It doesn’t say I can do all things because he won’t give me more than I can handle; it say through him who gives me strength. For someone to give you something – it generally means that you didn’t have it before.
The bible teaches us to ask, to seek, and to give God the glory. No where does it say that a Christian is promised a life of ease and free of persecution. 2 Timothy 3:11-13 says: 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. EPHESIANS 6:10-20
If you’ve stuck with me this long, I’ll leave you with this: Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. And Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Now, if I may, I’d like to pray for you.
Heavenly Father, we come to you and give you all the glory, Lord. God, we thank you for the life that you have called us to live as Christians, for the opportunities that You present for us to bring you glory. Father, I lift the one reading this to you, God. I pray that whatever season of life they’re in, whatever it is that they’re going through, that You make yourself known. Let them feel Your Presence, give them a peace and strength that can only come through the Holy Spirit. God, if someone reading this is ready to mock you, and their eyes and ears and heart can be opened to your Word, let them see You, let them come to know You. I ask, Lord, that you give them a burning desire to make you Lord of their life. God, if someone is going through something and they keep repeating “God won’t give you more than you can handle” to themselves and they’re thinking that they are a failure because, let’s be real, they can’t handle it on their own, take that burden from them, I ask that you give them strength, that they let go of trying to be strong on their own will and let You make the weak strong through the Holy Spirit. Jesus we love you, so so much, oh we love you. We know persecution will come – for many many many Christians it is alive and present today, Father continue to give us a peace in You that passes all understanding. Fill our hearts with Your joy that they overflow and we can share our joy in You with those around us. Help us to be a light and to shine in this dark world, that people may come to know You. In Jesus precious and Holy Name we pray, Amen.