Saturday, October 8, 2016

Debunking the "God Doesn't Give You More Than You Can Handle" myth.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor 1:8,9)

Has anyone ever told you during a difficult situation "Well, God only gives you what you can handle."  I've been told that many times and recently it just sent shivers down my spine. So I thought I'd talk about it here today. 

I truly believe many people say this because of two reasons. First, they misunderstand where hardships come from. And second, most people don't know what to say to offer comfort during difficult times.

First, God does not give anyone afflictions, illnesses, disabilities, addictions, war, family crisis, cancer, etc. These things happen because we live in a broken world. These things happen because we all have free will and make choices. And sometimes these choices affect us directly and sometimes our choices affect others. And sometimes, things just happen.  Nope, we have no idea why a single mom with 3 kids gets killed in a car crash on the way home from work, or why the athlete develops cancer, or why our spouse who has a wife who lives him starts to watch porn destroying a perfectly good marriage, or why our best friend must care for her elderly father who has Alzheimer's while her child has autism???

But to be told that "God doesn't gives you what you can't handle" is such a lie. These are all things that just happen and God who is love doesn't give you "things" that are contrary to who He is!

Then why do these things happen? Again, because we live in a fallen world and our Savior has not returned yet. Honestly, I don't have a better answer than that. I wish I did.

But here is the beauty of this. God does give us what we "need" to deal with these situations. He gave us Jesus Christ. I know to some it sounds catty, but it's the truth. First, we have to believe that Jesus died for our sins and offers us forgiveness for our life. And then when that happens and you begin to develop that walk with Jesus you will begin to see that He is giving you what you "need" to deal with the situation. 

Many people say "life goes on" but in reality, God is giving us the resources. People to pray for us. Doctors to help with medical treatments. Meals that come from strangers. And more. from others. But he is also using this to build your relationship with Him. He wants you to go to Him and tell Him you can't do it alone and you need help. He wants us to realize that we can't do it alone. When we exchange our pitiful pleas for genuine faith in Him, situations begin to look differently. I'm not saying that we will always like the outcome because again, we live in a broken world. BUT, God will use everything for His glory - if we just allow Him to.

I also believe that when we focus on cries to God and He works in us for our own situation, our eyes become open to others around us. We begin to see the tragedies in others lives. And again, it's what we do with that that marks who we are as individuals.

I'm not saying it's easy. Goodness knows I have my share of these trials. We all do in some way at some point in our lives. But it's what we do under adversity that really marks who we are. Do we run around crying out to others for help or do we fall on our knees and cry out to God? In the end, it takes courage to trust in God. 

And so I believe it's OK to correct someone when they say to you "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." It's just not Biblical.