Monday, July 21, 2014
Where did we come up with that saying? It sounds biblical enough and it sounds like something a wonderful, loving God would say. The only problem is, nowhere in the Bible does it say that. In fact, the Bible is filled with tons of examples of God giving people WAY more than they can handle! Scripture is overflowing with example after example of how God tested His children by heaping up calamity upon catastrophe upon tragedy on them. Why? To make a stiff-necked people see that they CAN'T handle things by themselves.
Take the example of Job. He was given more than most people could handle. Open up your Bible's and read the first chapter of Job. He possessed 11,000 animals and many servants. His sons and daughter held many feasts and celebrated often. He was the richest man in all the land. Then, the next day . . .
"13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, 19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” - Job 1:13-19
But wait, there's more . . .
"7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” - Job 2:7-9
To summarize and place in a modern context, how would you like it if one day you lost your job, your only means of making a living, and you came home and found your house had been trashed by a tornado. Someone had stolen everything you had and killed your entire family and then butchered your puppy just for fun. Your car also burned up, as if the tornado wasn't enough, all your money at the bank disappeared and then you developed sores from head to toe and you couldn't stand the itching they caused. Oh, and FINALLY, you were left with a nagging wife who thought you should simply curl up someplace and die. And then you were provided with a weapon to accomplish the feat (verse 8). Nice. Would something like that be more than most of us could handle? My guess is yes.
When things back in the day got to be more than the people could handle, what did they do? When they finally had no hope. When they were just about to give up on life itself, what did they do? What did Job do? Check this: Job worshiped God.
"20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." - Job 1:20-22
Will God give us more than we can handle? Absolutely! Why? So that we will turn from worshiping ourselves and turn to Him. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to worship Him in any and all circumstances. God allows us into these situations so that the only way we could possibly emerge on the other side of them is with God's help. Then it is HE who gets the glory, not us.
If God only gives us things we can handle, then WE would get the glory and credit for getting through them, not God.
A young friend of mind once texted me an acronym - F.R.O.G. That stands for Fully Rely On God. Good advice for those who are facing a trial in their lives. Don't try to "handle" things on your own. Give them to God in prayer and then fully rely on God's grace and His tender mercy. Do so, and in the end, just like Job, you will be blessed.
Perhaps you have heard the following song. It's a wonderful song about praising God even during our toughest trials. But perhaps you haven't heard the story behind the song and just what it means to praise Him in a storm. I encourage you to listen to the story behind the song and then the song itself. You will be blessed. May your storms be few and may you ALWAYS fully rely on God.
The Story Behind "Praise You In This Storm"
Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns