There are few lies out there that get me more hot under the collar than this one. There is certainly no shortage of twisted scripture, verses taken out of context or outright lies out there. In fact, it took me only a couple of seconds to find this garbage, and hundreds more like them, in the dump of social media. However, this particular lie has hurt me and so many I love. Just look at the natural progression of thoughts…
What could be more discouraging than knowing, without a doubt, that you can’t handle something and being told you are wrong?
If this is true, what is wrong with me that I can’t handle this thing?
If this is true, what is wrong with God that He doesn’t know my limit?
I am convinced this particular lie originates in the pit with the sole intention of driving us to despair. Hoping to convince us to give up. On ourselves and our God. And like most lies, there is usually a small measure of truth. And that’s where I think this one is dangerous. Here is where this Truth was twisted. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation” — or test, since it is the same word in Greek — “has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted [tested] beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” The key part of this verse is left out of all the “inspirational quotes”. HE will also provide the way of escape! By His grace, His mercy, HIS POWER, HE will enable you to endure it! NOT your own strength! What a relief that this burden, whatever it is, does not fall on me alone! What freedom in knowing I can fall to pieces on occasion because I know my God has it! What peace in the assurance that my all knowing, all powerful, all loving God will enable me to endure through this thing!
No pulling up of bootstraps, no putting on my big girl panties or acquiring the stiff upper lip (whatever that is)! Thank God!
So, what do we remind ourselves when we have reached our limit? What do we tell the friend that has lost the child, the beloved parent, the spouse to adultery, the health to cancer, the house to financial hardship, the family and friends to addiction, etc.? We tell them the Truth and light up the dark places and we tear down the lies threatening their peace that surpasses circumstances.
- God does not give you more than you can handle WITH HIM. And if you are in Christ, you are NEVER without Him.
- Matthew 28:20 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Psalms 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
- Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
- Hebrews 13:5 … God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Isiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
- We could do this all day…. But you get the idea.
- God DOES give us more than we can handle. Even the Apostle Paul assured us he was given more than he could handle. None of us are immune. As stated in our original verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13, trials are, unfortunately, common. We live in a fallen, broken, world.
- 2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.
During a time of year that is stressful for many, overwhelming for others and often full of grief and disappointments, don’t fall victim to this lie! Don’t let the enemy drive you to despair. Be cautious with the “inspirational”, seemingly biblical quotes and memes that abound. A true test of the truth of many of these is to ask the question, “Is this making much of me, or God?” and, “Is this asking me to rely on myself and my own understanding, or God’s?”. If the answer to these is God, it’s probably good. However, don’t stop there! Look for yourself. Get into the Word, our only source of Truth, and make sure you’re not being deceived!
Friend that is struggling during this season, do not be deceived. Christmas is not merry for everyone. But our Hope is not in our current circumstances. If we’re in Christ, our Hope is in what He did on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins, that we would spend eternity with Him. And the MANY promises that we are not alone and He will enable us to bear what we carry here.