Wednesday, April 15, 2015

God Won't Give Me What???

Lately I have read several blog posts (here's one) about non-biblical statements which are believed by a lot of Christians. Statements like, "God helps those who help themselves," or, "Cleanliness is next to godliness," or, "God wants me to be happy," or - the one that really gets my goat - "God won't give you more than you can handle." *scream*
I will freely admit, those words have passed over my lips before.
Many times.
Before my misunderstanding was corrected.
And now that I understand its falsehood, that statement makes me sad every time I hear it.

Here's why:

The first reason is because it isn't a biblical statement. Rather, it is a misrepresentation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 where the thing Paul says God won't allow us to be overcome by is temptation to sin - not hardship. In fact, if you read the Bible you'll find lots of examples of times when God allowed people to face more than they could bear. Think about the Israelites at the Red Sea, Daniel in the lion's den, David and Goliath, Mary and Martha and (temporarily) dead Lazarus.
All those circumstances were too much for the individuals to handle.
BUT, they were not too much for God to handle. That's the key!
So, the Bible shows us: God does give us more than we can handle.

The other reason I am so deeply saddened by this statement is because of it's implications.
If God truly won't give us more than we can handle, then our need to rely on Him has just been swept away. We could rightly say, "Don't worry 'bout me, God. I've got this all under control. You can go watch over someone else. I don't need You!"
And - just as heart-breaking - if God didn't give us more than we could handle, then whenever we faced a circumstance which knocked us over we would have to acknowledge our utter hopelessness and position as a failure. Imagine the pressure taken on by a person who believes they must be able to handle every difficulty and challenge which comes their way. One could only conclude when the burden crushed them that they simply weren't good enough, or able enough, or strong enough. After all, if GOD thought they could handle it... What a loser!

Friends, I am so glad that statement isn't True.
The TRUTH is, God gives me more than I can handle on a daily basis.
BUT He never gives me more than HE can handle.
So I surrender to Him every day. I trust God to be my strength; to lead me through His perfect plan; to fight for me (Exodus 14:14). I freely confess: I can't handle life on my own. And because of God's power and faithfulness and promises - I don't have to!

Would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.



Joanna T. said...

So with you on this one! My girls laugh at me in the car, because every time that song comes on ("I won't give you more than you can take; you might bend but you won't break") I change the station. For any of us who have been completely broken, it's salt in the wound. And you're right - it ignores God's power and love that gets us through it. Praise Him for all he is to us when we just can't make it on our own!

Karen Hossink said...

Joanna - I have changed the lyrics to that song. The way it goes when I sing it is: "I won't give you more, more than I can take. I will let you bend, and I might let you break." Then I go back to the original words ~ "But I'll never let you go." THAT speaks Truth to me.
Praising HIM with you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

That one always gets to me too and for all the same reasons. It's a sister to "Your trials will make you stronger." Our trials are not meant to make us stronger but to make us understand our need for Him.

Of course this message is timely my dear friend. I have spent this whole day crying and praying and feeling my utter helplessness. I don't know what to do but my eyes are on Him, and my need is as urgent as Jehoshaphat's was when he said it.

Love you my friend. - E

Karen Hossink said...

E - I saw your prayer request on FB, and continue to lift you up to the One who can handle your circumstance.
Yes, keep your eyes on Him. He will show you what to do.
Love you, too.

Sara K. said...

So TRUE! I completely agree and have thought the same thing. Jesus wants us to rely on Him!! How blessed we are to have such a loving God.

Karen Hossink said...

Sara - We are blessed. What a comfort it is to me to know I don't have to face any of this life on my own. Thank You, JESUS!