Suicide and eternal life were exposed in Lie #1. On that same day, the second lie surfaced in our conversation. It was mentioned how the grieving mom was sitting in a Bible-believing church, when one of the ministers said, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” In all fairness, I doubt he knew she was in the audience, but that lie pierced her already grieving soul and questioning heart. Let’s tackle it and take out its sting.
Lie #2 - God never gives you more than you can handle.
Really? So with this lie, we could think a myriad of thoughts, such as:
1. I’m drowning in heart-wrenching circumstances. Does God love me?
2. Why is bad news my constant companion? Is God mad at me?
3. This latest piece of news is like the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Does God even care?
Do you see how subtle and slimy this lie is?! Dear one, before we look at the verse which has been twisted to bring about this lie, let’s infuse truth into this situation.
1. Reality exposes the lie.
Job was described as blameless, a man of complete integrity, revered God and turned away from evil. Wow! Job was “all in” in following God. According to lie #2, one would think that God would protect him and give him hardship in teaspoons, yet calamity hit this godly man like a tsunami.
- 1st, his oxen and donkeys were stolen and their caretakers killed.
- then, fire fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and shepherds.
- then, raiders stole his camels and killed the servants caring for them.
- then, a hurricane-like wind collapsed the house where all his children were feasting and killed them.
In today’s terms, this would be like
- First, we lose our job,
- then, our food vanishes
- then, our car is stolen,
- then, all our children have a deadly accident.
More than one person can handle? Absolutely! Yet, look at Job’s response:
He stood up and tore his robe in grief
Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground and worshiped.
- Yup! You read that right, "He worshiped."
And then; He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
- Wow! Keep going, my friend.
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
He did not sin by blaming God. This is huge, my friend! Job's reality exposed the lie that God does not give us more than we can handle. His reality was more than he could bear, but He chose to worship the One who could bear it for him.
When the bottom dropped out of his life, by faith, Job chose to worship.
2. Jesus defeated the lie.
When Jesus chose to step out of heaven’s splendor and took on flesh as a wee babe, He knew the end result: the cross, Rome’s ultimate torture device. Many sermons have been preached, and scores of history books recount the gruesomeness of the cross. But with the cross before Him, Jesus chose to go to a quiet place and pray. Let this minister to your precious, overwhelmed heart:
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. Matthew 22:41-44
And you know what; what would break us as humans, didn’t stop our Savior! After praying, He allowed Himself to be arrested, to be mocked, to be beaten, to be nailed to a cross to die.
But the story doesn’t end there! Three days later, He AROSE!! Therein lies our hope when life gets to be too much! Jesus defeated death; therefore that same power is alive and well in us giving us the strength to press on when life is overwhelming! Jesus defeated death and the lie that saps any hope in our more than we can handle circumstances.
With the cross before Him, by faith, Jesus chose to pray.
3. Hope replaces the lie.
I believe this lie boils down to a trust issue: Do I trust God?
If I believe “God will never give me more than I can handle” and life becomes unmanageable, I’ll be disappointed with Him.
But, if I know that “God will give me more than I can handle.”, I’ll be ready to lean in and trust Him.
Why, because God can more than handle our hard to handle times. We can trust Him for He is trustworthy. This is believing and living out that favorite verse of so many, Proverbs 3:5:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.”
When life spews forth more than we can handle, we have to trust in God, the solid Rock. We cannot lean onto our own understanding for it is like shifting sand.
The Apostle Paul recounts all that life threw at him in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. He knew what it was to have more than he could humanly handle like tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, and nakedness, just to name a few. Yet, he victoriously declares, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him (Jesus!) who loved us.” Romans 8:35 & 37
Overwhelmingly conquer! Because of Jesus, we can be the conqueror instead of the conquered when life gives us more than we can handle! Paul overwhelmingly conquered all the hard and overwhelming experiences in life because he trusted in the trustworthy One.
When he was given more than a person could handle, by faith, Paul chose to trust.
4. Why God wants us to reject the lie.
Like Job, He wants us to worship instead of worry.
Like Jesus, He wants us to pray instead of being dismayed.
Like Paul, He wants us to trust Him instead of ourselves.
Ultimately, He wants our hearts to long for the hope of eternity instead of settling for the hopelessness of today.
5. Job's prayer can be our prayer to overcome the lie.
“But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.
For I have stayed on God’s paths;
I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
I have not departed from his commands,
but have treasured his words more than daily food.”
I pray this post has exposed a lie you may or may not have believed. Most of all, I pray it has strengthened your faith to believe that life is hard, but God is good.
BTW - The verse that has been twisted? It’s 1 Corinthians 10:13. It’s about temptation, not unbearable circumstances. But that’s another post. ;-)
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, deep talks, lively laughter, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.