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Too Much to Handle

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
“Nothing can prepare you for this.”
I’m sure we have all heard this at one time or another. Or maybe you have even said this to a friend going through a tough time. These lies are dangerous. They give us false perspectives of God’s character.

Let’s be honest and truly human here: death, sadness, sickness, and sin is inevitable. But God’s mercy is inevitable too. God will give us things that we can’t handle, but His character is not to leave us or forsake us. Instead, it is to show us tempered might with mercy. God will never give us anything that is too much for Him to handle.

You could say that even the gospel displays this. We sin. The sin is too much for us to handle. We once faced death as a punishment for our inadequate abilities to save ourselves from our own sin. We could not afford the ransom but then Jesus came. He died for us and rose again. He paid the ransom. It was not too much for Him. He prepared us for it, though. He created us with hearts to be His home. He created us to be weak and need a savior and He created His power to be perfected in our weakness.

Sometimes God really does give you too much to handle.
But it is never too much for Him.
Throughout the whole bible, in the Old and New Testament, God has shown His faithfulness and sovereignty in everything. Countless people faced trials and suffering that we could never imagine overcoming on our own. But gloriously, God is with us. He is near to us. Sometimes we have to face trials to be reminded to lean on God instead of rushing before God.

Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den. He, in his own power, could not save himself from the mouths of the lions. God gave Him too much to handle by himself. But with God’s mighty hand helping him, the lions mouths were shut.  (Daniel 6)

Gideon faced the Midianites with an army of only 300 men. God told Gideon not to fight a mighty battle but to instead give all 300 men a trumpet, a candle, and a bowl. They were to go in the middle of the night to the Midianites’ camp, wake them up with the trumpets, break the bowl, and expose the candle light to startle the enemy. With man’s power alone, the odds were not in Gideon’s favor. The battle was too much for Gideon to handle. But Gideon was a man of faith and God gave Gideon’s army the victory. (Judges 6 and 7)

Jonah ran from God. Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. It was a wicked and corrupt city. It was wicked to the point that it was a common practice for victims to be hung onto walls and be filleted alive. You could say that the wickedness in Nineveh was equivalent to the circumstances of ISIS right now. Could you see why Jonah would have rather been thrown into the sea or have died than to go to the city? The calling was too much for Jonah to handle on his own. But it wasn’t too much for God. (Jonah 1-4)

Job lost his wife, children, every belonging, his health, and his home. Job faced suffering and oppression from the enemy. It was all too much for him to handle on his own. The enemy was more powerful than Job. But the enemy was weaker than God. Job’s circumstances were not too much for God to handle. (Job 1)

Paul was bitten by snakes and imprisoned for years for the sake of the Gospel. His trials were too much for him to handle. He faced anxiety and false accusations from whole nations. But it was not too much for God to handle. (You can read about Paul throughout the new testament.)

To see more stories of God’s strength and our weakness, read about the lives of David, the psalmist, Moses, and pretty much any other major person in the bible.

You can prepare for this.
We are not alone. We have God’s word as a sword and comfort to remind us of His promises. The time you spend studying, memorizing and meditating on the word of God prepares you for times of loss.
The time you spend praying and offering supplication prepares you to be able to cry out to God when you are sad, hurt, and confused.
The time you spend dwelling in the quiet with God prepares you to be able to rest when chaos comes.
The time you spend laughing, crying, learning, and growing with other believers prepares you to run to your team when you need their help.
The time you spend seeking the presence of God prepares you to know that there is fullness of joy and freedom when you need it.
The time you spend being led by the Holy Spirit prepares you to be able to discern where God is leading and what He is speaking when you do not know where to run.
The time you spend sitting at His feet prepares you to know that He is sovereign. He is the king and as you bow to Him, you declare that you submit your life to His will.
The time you spend shouting His praises in the victories prepares you to lift His banner high in the times of sorrow.
The time you spend standing on His promises prepares you to run to Him because He is a strong tower for the righteous.
The time you spend investing in relationships to build community prepares you to go through sad, hard, long and tiresome times with people who are for your good and are by your side.
You can do this.

You can overcome even though life feels like it is too much to handle. You have prepared for this. Do not give up. Do not throw in the towel. Do not wish for death. Do not be crushed. Do not despair. God is strong enough to handle whatever it is you are facing. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sickness, disease, stress, worry, jealously, and death are not as strong as God is. Strongholds only hold onto things that are strong. Do you need to weaken your thoughts of insecurity, worry, jealousy, disgust, and anxiousness and begin to let God’s healing power seep into you? Do you need to let the word of God be strengthened in your mind instead?

The battle for your mind is raging and to win, you must give way to things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

2 Corinthians 4:8

 

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