Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm weak, thank God!

I'm sure you've heard it. I know I have, more than one too many times! "God never gives us more than we can handle." Am I the only one who doesn't agree with this or that thinks it is firmly founded in anything other than the Word?

I've seen people use 1 Corinthians 10:13 to justify it, but the Greek word used in that passage is most often used in the context of
tempting and not trying, and that's what the context of the chapter suggests to me as well. Mostly when I hear people use that cliché, they are referring to difficult times, not really temptations. Trials are not the same as temptations. I suppose that in the midst of a trial, we could be tempted, but I see trials as things God allows us to experience for the purpose of His glory and our growth in Him while temptations are things satan uses to appeal to our carnal nature in hopes that we will sin and move farther away from Him.

So is this
cliché Biblical? Is it true? Is anyone else tired of hearing it, reading it, trying to wrap your mind around it? I'll be quite honest here and say that I do not think it is necessarily Biblical, nor do I think it is true in all instances. I used to believe it... you know how you hear something often enough and it starts to ring true, even if it is not? However, these days I'm leaning less and less on that and more and more towards the opinion that God gives us trials we cannot handle. That's right. I just said that. I believe our gracious and loving Father gives us things that are more complex, more difficult, and more painful than our human minds, emotions, and bodies can possibly handle.

Now before you start casting stones or vow to never read my blog again, let me explain. If we could handle everything the Lord handed us, why would we ever need Him? What would keep us from getting puffed up in ourselves and thinking that if we can make it through
that, we can make it through anything... when, in reality, it wasn't us, it was God in us that brought us through? Doesn't it make sense that He, in His infinite love and unmatched power, could see past what we can handle into what we need and give us that instead? What is it we need? Sometimes we need to be strengthened... some of the things we go through serve to strengthen US. Our resolve, our faith, our patience and even our bodies. But other things serve to strengthen Him in us and sometimes the only way for that to happen is through our being made weak, broken, and torn. I no longer believe that God wants us to praise Him out of every trial we go through, and see us come out victorious and stronger on the other side. I believe that sometimes He wants a trial to weaken us, to break us so that we will learn to praise Him and give Him glory IN the trial and because of the trial for what He's doing with the trial.

Paul learned to not boast about his accomplishments (and he had many) but rather to boast about his weaknesses because God showed him that it was in his weaknesses that Christ's power rested upon him! (2 Corinthians 12) Sometimes we have to be broken before we will reach out for Him or cease control and allow Him to prove powerful in our lives. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

So does God give us more than we can handle? Yes. At least that has become my belief. But what He also does is promise to be there with us and use everything for His glory and for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know I'll be trying to learn to boast in my weaknesses (and I have many!). I want Him to prove strong in me. How about you?

1 comment:

Heidi said...

What an interesting perspective! I would have to think about it and read more scripture to figure out if I agree with you fully or not, but I do see what you're saying. God is what we have to lean on to make it through this world.

Good for you for sticking your neck out. I might have to come back and see what others say. A very interesting topic that I think we can all learn from.