Will God really never give you more than you can handle? Are there problems with this idea? Today, Kent unpacks what the scripture says in a way that you can apply into your own life, right where you are! When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom! GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .
Sermon Notes Slide Key:
- Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: She lost her husband last year, she’s heartbroken, nothing seems right anymore, she tries to find joy, but can the grief is always right there at the door. She’s working two jobs, trying to care for her high school boys the best she can, she’s worn out and feels at the end of her rope…
He lost his job due to supply chain issues and was told that for now at least, his position was no longer needed. Pressure at home has left his relationship with his wife in shambles – they are sleeping in different rooms at this point and he’s pretty sure she will ask him to leave any day now. His kids aren’t talking to him because for years he put everything else above them. He’s tired of it all and can’t see any way out.
They have experienced more loss in the last year than anyone you’ve ever known. They lost a child, his mother, and her father. Then when it seemed like there couldn’t be any more, their brother and sister-in-law were in a tragic accident, and the whole family was lost. How could life be this unfair? What do you say?
That’s the question, right? What do you say?
Maybe you’ve heard someone say this one to you when you are in the middle of these kinds of moments…
You walk up to the widow, to the jobless guy, to the grief-stricken family and you say this…
“It’s gonna be ok, because… God will never give you more than you can handle”
Let’s all take a moment real quick, do me a favor…
Can I tell you something…
The bible DOESN’T say God will never give you more than you can handle.
[mind blown symbol]Actually, I would say this is one of those things that really good Christians – followers of Jesus believe that’s bad…
First, let’s talk about where the confusion comes from…
What the scripture ACTUALLY says is this…
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
What the scripture actually says is that when you are tempted, God is faithful and will provide a way out.
Paul’s point is that God is faithful.BOk, Kent, I get it, but
Why is, “God will never give you more than you can handle,” a problem?
ILLUSTRATION: I have to admit something to you, when I was growing up, I watched the movie Jaws and it ruined beaches for me. When I’m out in the ocean with my kids, I’m constantly just watching the waves looking for a giant great white shark shadow to cross through… I was starting to get over it and then we went shark fishing – they only went like 100 feet out past how far out we had been swimming and we were catching TONS of sharks…
Under the surface is where the danger lies.
God will never give you more than you can handle is kind of like God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear – but what’s under the surface is deadly…
BENEATH THE SURFACE: When we say, “God will never give you more than you can handle” we are implying that God is the one causing the terrible things in people’s lives.
-You are telling the widow that God killed her husband and created this circumstance she now lives in- that the man who has lost his job and is losing his family has God to thank for that circumstance-that the family whose life has been broken by loss is really just cursed by God
How many people hate God because they have the idea that God is causing them pain and difficulty in their life?
Listen to how Jesus described the Father:
Matthew 7:9-12 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
What the scripture says about the pain in our life is so much more nuanced – it can’t fit on a bumper sticker…
The consequences of sin The choices you make
The choices others make
The fact that there is a spiritual enemy
All these play a role in the events of our lives.
Actually, if you want to get technical
Jesus’ promise to us was not that he wouldn’t give us more than we can handle, but that more than we could handle was heading straight for us – and that’s why He was giving us Himself.
John 16:33bIn this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus looked out through the ages and He saw, His disciples would face trouble…-We’d face loss-We’d face unemployment-we’d face persecution for our faith-we’d face all kinds of trials and temptations
And His promise is that you can take heart because He has overcome the world! This is a promise that is fully seated in your relationship with Him
CLOSINGILLUSTRATION: When my kids were young I was always trying to get them to do dangerous things :). Because they had this innate fear built into them. So, I was always trying to get them to jump off of things and climb up stuff 🙂 I know, I’m a weirdo. When I was trying to get them to jump off of something into my arms, I would say…
“Jump, I’ve got you!” It was my affirmation to them that no matter what happened, my love for them and my resolve to see them through was rock solid.
Listen. I know that for some of you it’s disconcerting for me to undo this idea that God will never give you more than you can handle.
But it’s such a weak promise anyway because it’s based on you being able to handle things.
Jesus knew you and I would go through hard times, and He knew the Father deeply and how Good the Father is and His promise was that we could take heart because Jesus had overcome the world.
Why can we take heart? Because His love and resolve to us through is rock solid.
So, what can you say when you are in the middle of the storm or after all the damage can be surveyed that is more faithful to who God is that displays trust, but doesn’t damage the image of God, you can stand on this and start saying this.
“God is faithful, even in this…”