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How Much Can You Handle?

The Bible doesn’t say that God won’t give you more than you can handle. I have no idea where that concept came from, but I suspect it’s mankind’s wishful thinking. I think the verse that people confuse with this concept is 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

It does not say God won’t give you more than you can handle.  It says there is a way of escape from temptation.  You won’t be tempted more than you can stand.  But life is definitely going to throw curveballs. One thing the Bible does say is that, we might be smashed down, but we will not be destroyed.  (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) When we face tough times in our life, it’s not always an attack of the enemy.  Sometimes it’s our own stupid choices that lead us into a difficult consequential situation.  Sometimes, it is the devil.  Sometimes, it’s God trying to direct us back to Him.

Jesus said, in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  Jesus said we will have tough times!  Being a Christian does not mean it’s going to be sunshine and roses, all day, every day.  The good news is that trials pass.  Jesus overcame the world, and so can we!  We can overcome any trial if we learn to lean on Jesus!  Sometimes situations might be more than we can handle, but the good news is, God is bigger — we just have to turn it over to Him and allow Him to work in our lives.  Romans 8:28 reminds us that God can turn any situation around to work for our good — but we have to give it to Him to work with first.  When we try to tackle the situation ourselves, we can make it worse for ourselves.

James tells us (James 1:2-4), “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”  Why would we need endurance, or patience as some translations say?  Because we are not of this world!  We are citizens of Heaven! (Phil. 3:20) We need patience to get through the muck of life so we can endure to the end, and be crowned with salvation on the day that this world passes away.

So how do we overcome when the trials come?  Here are my suggestions:

1. Give it to God in prayer.  1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” –and the promise with that verse is in verse 7, which says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  — if you pray about everything, trust God, thank Him, then, as long as you stay in Jesus, God will give you supernatural peace and guard your heart and mind!  These two simple verses we hear all the time are a huge key to getting through tough times.

2. Pray, pray, pray.  James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Prayer is one of our weapons.  Keep praying about it and God might give you a way around it or a way out of it.

3. Listen to God.  When we pray, we should not be the only ones talking.  God is always talking to us, but we seldom think to listen.  Take time to seek His will for the situation.  Listen, tune your ear to hear His voice.  He might have an answer you haven’t thought of.

4. Obey what God says.  It’s one thing to begin to hear what He says, but it’s another thing to actually do what He says.  It’s an act of humility to obey Him.  It’s an act of surrender to obey.

5. Put it all together — these steps are great suggestions in themselves, but when they are combined, it’s a power punch.  We have to be surrendered to God.  We have to obey what we hear.  We have to listen to hear what He’s saying.  We have to pray about stuff.  We have to give the situation to God to show we trust Him above all, and be willing to accept His solution, whatever it may be.

Matthew 24:13 says whoever endures to the end will be saved.  We are going to go through stuff.  But we must learn to endure, have patience, persevere, and continue to stand.  Have faith, God will see you through.

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