The Truth About Struggle | Why God WILL Give You More Than You Can Handle | Ashley Varner
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The Truth About Struggle | Why God WILL Give You More Than You Can Handle

Struggle. It’s a fact of life.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Has anyone ever said to you, “Don’t worry, honey, God won’t give you more than you handle”?  Well, I want to let you in on a little secret: God gives you more than you can handle. ALL. THE. TIME.

The Struggle in the Storm

When storms come up in life, and they most certainly will, it’s important to keep your focus on the Lord.  This reminds me of a Bible story all about struggle.  Jesus and His disciples were on a boat, suddenly the waves and wind created an immense storm.  Even the disciples who had been fishermen most of their lives (and were used to the Sea of Galilee) were afraid in the storm.  And yet, where was Jesus? Asleep.

Sometimes, it can feel like we’re facing the biggest storm of our lives, and we look around, wondering if Jesus is asleep.

They woke Him up and we know the end of the story.  He calmed their struggle. He calmed the wind and the waves with just the sound of His voice.

Were they experiencing the storm because they weren’t close to Jesus? Absolutely not!  He was in the boat sleeping. Were they experiencing the storm because they were disobedient or had sin in their lives? On the contrary, it had been Jesus’ idea to go across the sea.

They were being obedient, but still the storm raged.  Would Jesus have calmed the situation without them asking Him to intervene? He was asleep, just waiting for them to come and ask Him for His help.

Why do we face storms?

I believe the disciples were enduring the storm of two reasons.  First, because storms happen in life.  Period. Second, I believe God wanted to use the storm to show His power. If they had made it across the sea that night without any problems, would they have learned how to trust Jesus?

God knows that when we make it to the other side of our stormy sea, we will be stronger because of the struggle we’ve endured.  We become stronger, not because of anything we’ve done or are able to do on our own, but because we’ve learned the secret: to use HIS strength to endure the storm.

It’s incredibly freeing to realize that God doesn’t expect you to be strong enough to endure the pain.  He only calls you to rely on Him and His strength to make it through the struggle He sends your way.

God WILL Give You More Than You Can Handle…

Sometimes when you’re going through a struggle, people will say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” While people who say this mean well, it’s not Scriptural in regards to crisis and struggle.  That verse is actually talking about temptation.  The truth is that God gives us more than we can handle all the time.

That may not sound like an encouraging word, but it’s true. How can I say that? Well, I’m not alone in my belief, the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, “We do not want you to be uninformed about the troubles we experienced. We were under great pressure, FAR BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO ENDURE, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On Him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”

Paul said that he was under great pressure, far beyond what he was able to endure. God gives us more than we can handle, so that there’s no choice but to rely on Him.

There is no way I could have made it through some struggles in my life without God’s intervention.  I couldn’t have handled it on my own.  I’m not that strong, but thankfully, He is.

If left to my own devices, I wouldn’t be able to do much.  I can barely do twenty tricep dips on my own.

An Ultimate Goal

There’s a show on television that I like to watch. It’s a challenge show were contestants are competing for money. It’s amazing what rigors they will put their body through to win the competition.

Sometimes the game sets two people up as a male/female team, and they have complete tasks together.  They have to cross the finish line together, at the same time, or they both lose.  The strength of some of the male competitors still amazes me. They are so focused on winning the money that if the team’s challenge is to carry the burden of two 50 pound bags up a hill, they will carry the entire hundred pounds and all the female partner has to do is walk up the hill.  I’ve even see one of the male competitors carry all the weight AND their partner up the hill. No joke.

The female partner didn’t ask her other half to carry the load, he did it because he had a greater goal he was working towards, in this case, it was the prize money.

God’s Ultimate Goal

God isn’t working for money, He has a bigger goal in mind.  the goal He’s working toward is to see us coming to fullness and maturity in Christ. He is willing to carry our burden. He is even willing to carry our burden AND carry us if necessary to reach that ultimate prize.

What if the female partner refused to let her teammate carry some of her load. What if, even though she was obviously struggling, she said, “I can handle this” and insisted on carrying all load herself? If that happened on the slow, I would think she was being prideful and…well…crazy.

If someone is offering help, and they are personally invested in your best interest, why wouldn’t you let them help you? But still, isn’t that what we do to God? Just like the children’s song, “We are weak, He is strong,” yet we insist on taking our burdens to the top of the hill in our own strength.  He’s there offering His arms, asking us just to follow, but we hold tight to our burden in an act of protest. Why?

Put Your Pride Away

Pride is the reason that comes to my mind. We believe that we have to get through our struggle on our own.  Maybe we’ve gone so far as to think that God’s care, so we feel like we have to deal with our pain on our own.

While we may know that He’s capable of carrying our burdens, maybe we feel that He’s not willing to carry then, that He’s standing idly by, watching us suffer. But God’s Word is true and it says, “Come to me, all you who are wary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest of your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30).

No one will benefit if you are attempting to carry your load on your own. Just like the female contestant on that show, where or not you finish by your own merits isn’t the concern. The concern is simply that you finish the race.

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