I know you’ve heard people say, “God will never give you more that you can handle.” Lately it seems the proclamation of this nugget will become an everyday occurrence. My current circumstances understandably promote this well meaning sentiment. A few weeks ago I was let go from my ministry position and the church will seek a new direction for their student program. The decision has been an emotional event for many and on many levels. I hope and pray that all involved will seek the Lord and do exactly as the Holy Spirit leads them. I don’t want to appear unmoved; I am very disappointed, and I will miss my brothers and sisters. However, the Lord has stirred a fresh wind for Riverside, and for me. God has given me something I can’t handle and I love Him for it.
I need to clear up something important. “God will never give you more than you can handle” is not in the Bible. The actual verse that draws out this misinterpretation is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “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.” There is a wealth of simple truth in this verse. First, Satan is not luring you into to some new craving over which Jesus doesn’t already have the victory. Most importantly, God is faithful to you personally. He assures a limit to Satan’s testing. And finally, He shows you the way out of the snare. There is a caveat. You must receive His Son Jesus Christ, for it is by His shed blood that you are set free.
It is quite clear in Scripture that God will give you more than you can handle. My favorite instance is found in John 14. Jesus is finally getting through to the apostles that He is going away and they are sure they cannot handle the earthly ministry. Jesus both challenged and encouraged them, saying, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Peter’s letter to exiled Christians contains this divine principle: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I believe setting your hope fully on grace is achieved by accepting the Lord’s challenge to engage in what He has planned for you. It will be an adventure where you are in WAY over your head; attempting things that will crash and burn if God doesn’t show up to carry you through it, and living your life with the absolute certainty that He will.
Now, go do what you are called to do. And smile this is the fun stuff!