Monday, April 18, 2011

More than you can handle?

I have heard it more than once over the past couple weeks, and it's something that bothers me. People, that is, Christians often will say something like "don't worry, God doesn't give you more than you can handle". Often we hear this when we are in times of trouble, or give this advice to people in their times of trouble. But does the Bible actually say this? The answers is of course it doesn't. No where can be found that God will only let us endure what 'we can handle'. Moreover, there is plentiful examples throughout the Bible of people having more than they could handle.

So, if you're reading this thinking, 'I know the verse that says God doesn't give us more than we can handle' and are about to quote 1 Corinthians 10:13 then I must interject. Indeed Paul is not talking about hardships but temptations. Let me quote.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

Notice Paul is talking of temptations, and assures us that God will provide a way out in regards to them, but when talking of hardships in 2 Corinthians 1:8 he says

"For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself."

At that point in his life Paul was in fact dealing with something he could not bear. It was beyond his strength. We should not be telling people God will never give them hardships by which they cannot endure, indeed people would not be persecuted if this were true. God will not temp us beyond what we can bear, but our hardships may kill us. That is the truth.

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