I look back on some very difficult times in my not so distance past and when I measure them up to this statement I find it hard to believe that I will not be given more than I can handle. And what does it mean exactly? I know the Biblical scripture reference that is used when this statement is made, (1Cor 10:13) but after careful examination I have come to the conclusion that, on occasion in my life, I will be given more than I can handle. And I believe there are several very good reasons why.
If we are never given more than we can handle then many things can happen.
- First and foremost we would become reliant on ourselves. Our strength, out resources, our capacities. The Christian faith is about our dependence on Christ and Christ alone. Not dependence on our might to get through difficult times. As Christians, unless we are allowed to be given struggles that are more than we can bear, we would have no need for God's strength to get us through. He walks with us during those times of trials and renews us in the midst of them.
- If we were never given more than we could bear, then we would have no need to share our struggles with others. The strength in the Christian community comes from the fellowship with others. When we go about our struggles on our own we are more vulnerable to the enemy and we are more likely to have far worse difficulties from it. Romans 15:1 tells us: "Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves." And Galatians shares the same message in chapter 6:2... "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." We miss out on the blessings that come from sharing with our fellow brother's and sister's in Christ when we keep the burdens we are bearing to ourselves. Allow the prayers and strength of others to gird you up during times of trial.
- For many of us, it took a burden heavier than we could carry to bring us to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. I remember lying on my bed as a younger man and crying out to God for strength. I had never given my life to Him, but knew deep inside that I needed God to help me through my difficult time. If we had the capability to handle life's challenges on our own, then there would be no need for us to cry out to the Savior to give us strength and hope.
This verse is dealing with the subject matter of temptation. Temptations that lead us into sin against God. Sexual immorality, idolatry, greed, etc... It occurs when we desire to give into the lust of the flesh more than we desire the sweet communion with our Savior. God will always provide a way of escape, or distraction from sin, when we are turning to our flesh. He promises a way out, an opportunity to say "NO" to sin, but many times we are just too weak to choose it.
When thinking about not being given more than I can handle I look to the Bible. From the book of Genesis all the way to Revelation I am reminded of men and women who were given far more than they could bear alone and in the midst of it turned to a loving and gracious Father who walked along with them every step of the way. We will never be given more than we can bear along with His strength.
So when you hear someone tell you, "You will never be given more than you can handle." Remind them that you probably will, and because you were given more than you could handle you turned to God and were saved. Then, in a loving and gentle way, inform them that we will never be given more than HE can handle.
Lord, thank you for my struggles for they cause me to turn closer to you. Romans 5:3 tells me to rejoice in my sufferings, so Lord, I pray that you will give me a spirit of rejoicing when hard times come. Please give me your strength because I am not able to do it on my own.