You have heard it said, “God will not give you more than you can bare”. But frankly, I don’t believe that too be true. The saying is taken from 1 Corinthians 10:13 and is meant to encourage people to “press on”, to “endure” and to “remain faithful”. And to that end I say “amen”, “amen” and “amen!” But the passage in 1 Corinthians does not teach that God will not give you more than you can bare, neither does it teach that when you are tempted he’ll make a way to “escape”! Rather the crux of the whole passage is found in the climatic phrase:
“So that you can stand up under it” (NIV)
or, as the ESV puts it,
“That you may be able to endure it” (ESV)
Not only may God give us more then we can bare, he does it to his children regularly. Remember Israel in Egypt for 450 years. From the Hebrew point of view, escape was simply out of the question (a burden too great to bare?). They were as hopeless as hopeless gets. And it was at that point that the scriptures record:
“The people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.” Exodus 2:23 (ESV)
And remember the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the promised land? God waited until the Jordan was in flood and he made the Israelites watch those rapid waters rush on by – an impenetrable force (a burden too great to bare?). How were they going to cross?
We know the ending of both of these stories, God makes away! But he always wants us to trust in him and not in our own works (remember the first time the Israelites attempted to enter the promised land – they got the smack down! Numbers 14:39-45).
God wants to give you more than you can bare so that you can learn to live a life which relies on him. Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Our Heavenly Father, I pray that I would continue to rely on you in all things. I pray that I would hold nothing back and keep no little bits for myself. Thank you for your strength and your faithfulness, and thank you for your promised open invitation to the throne of mercy and grace where I can go to find strength. Forgive me Jesus for the times when I have gone it on my own. Holy Spirit continue to form me into the image of Christ so that, having done all to stand, I would stand therefore in Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Amen.