In case you missed our incredible Easter services, here’s the video from Sunday. Take some time to watch and thanks to everyone who helped pull this off. Praise to God for His Spirit’s moving.
You ever heard the phrase: “God won’t give you more than you can handle”?
I’m sure you have. It’s cross-stitched on our grandmothers’ pillows and it comes out of everybody’s mouth in times of struggle.
The phrase is birthed out of 1 Corinthians 10:13 “…God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able…” But that’s specific only to temptation. In his book, “Plan B”, Pastor Pete Wilson of Cross Point Church in Nashville said this about this blog’s opening statement:
“Nothing could be farther from the truth…throughout life you will face one situation after another that will be completely beyond what you can handle.”
Haven’t you ever felt that way? Bills are piling up, stress of providing for family, death of a loved one, caring for an ill family member while trying to live your life, a bad divorce with kids involved, demands of school while student loans keep piling up, etc., etc., etc….. During all these times, the LAST THING I want to hear is “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle” because truthfully, HE HAS!!!
Wilson quotes 2 Corinthians 12:7 when Paul is talking about an unspecific “thorn in his flesh and messenger of Satan”.
“Three time I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness. Therefor I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Paul shows us exactly how we need to view these situations we can supposedly “handle”. WE CAN’T. Instead of running around all the time telling yourself over and over “you can handle this, you can handle this”, do as Paul did. Acknowledge our weakness, accept God’s grace, and cash in on the opportunity for Christ’s power to rest on you. His power is made PERFECT through our weakness.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle”? Let’s change it to “God won’t give you more than He can handle.”
Get the cross-stitching needles out Grandma. We got to make an adjustment to some of these pillows!
By: Byron Trimble
This isn’t really a S.O.A.P. I love S.O.A.P–both kinds–but I think you’ll still get something out of this.
My wife and I recently saw the movie ‘Lincoln’. Great movie and wonderful portrayal of an amazing leader during a terrible time. But this morning in my Bible, I read about another great “Abe”. Both Abe’s lived tremendously impactful lives. But through this Biblical Abe we can learn a whole lot.
This all pertains to the ever-lingering, mystical concept known as God’s will or plan for your life. Important to note- in Hebrew, the word for “Plan” literally breaks down to the word “Preparation”. Keep that in mind.
In Genesis 12, God reveals Himself to this fellow Abram in verses 1-5 calling him out of the land he was in and promising to make him into a great nation, to bless him, make his name great, and a lot of kids. Pretty sweet day for Abram you would think. We’ve all had moment like this, haven’t we? Moments where we feel God has called us to great things. The time God calls us into ministry maybe. The moment God brought you to NGC to serve. The moment you got a great promotion at work. The moment you found out you and your spouse were expecting. Etc. Etc.
Take not of this though, Abram (later had his name changed to Abraham) got his “plan” from God when he was 75 years old. The most highlighted part of that plan was this old dude would have a ton of offspring. Abram didn’t have his first child (by his wife anyways, whom God told him to conceive with) until he was 100! That’s 25 years this man waited for God’s plan to come through!!! WOWOWOWOWOW! It’s why I called him Patient Abe.
But watch this, this is where we can learn from him today. Whether you know this story well or not, I’ll recap quickly. In those 25 years of waiting, 5 potholes or curveballs came at Abe. Parenthesis show the passage. The asterisks show how each of them were different and can be seen today.
1. A famine (Genesis 12:10-20) *Natural misfortune. Stuff out of one’s control
2. His nephew takes the better land (or so it seemed in Gen. 13:8-16) *Someone close to you wrongs you
3. The same nephew gets caught up with nations at war and Abe must go to battle (Gen. 14) *Enemies rise against you
4. He conceives a child with one of his servants because he doubted his wife could conceive (Gen. 16) *Wrong decision you make
5. God destroys Abe’s nephew’s town of Sodom because of evil killing thousands including Abe’s daughter-in-law (Gen. 19:23-29) *Sin
Don’t that seem about right? You feel God called you to something but you just keep running into potholes and getting hit with curveballs like what Abe experienced. Here’s where I’ll bring it home for you.
In Genesis 15:12-16, God is giving Abe some promises. Except he’s talking to Abe in an audible voice–something I wish God would do for me sometimes—until I read this passage.
God said ” Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there and they will be afflicted for 400 years. But I will bring judgement on the nation they serve and yo–”
WHAAATTT!!! Can’t you hear yourself stopping God if you were Abe and saying, “Wait, hold up a minute, WHAT? You just said 400 years? Four. zero. zero?”
That’s the point of this blog. It’s probably a good thing God doesn’t share with us the whole details of His plan for us. We couldn’t handle it. Because there will always be curveballs. There will always be potholes. People will always wrong you. You’ll always make mistakes. Sin will always be present. But guys, look, 25 years later–Abe got his child. And years later, God did rescue his offspring from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. And God’s promise came true.
God’s promise will come true for you. Through Christ blood, you are the head and not the tail. You are conquerors, not the conquered but it is essential to trust God when you’re in the potholes. Remember what the Hebrew word for “plan” is? God’s “plan”? It’s “preparation”. God was preparing Abe and God’s preparing you, too! Take rest and peace today that whatever you’re going through–it’s God’s plan. It’s God’s preparation for your calling in life.
S – Scripture Luke 22:24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded as the greatest.
O – Observation The disciples are struggling for position. It’s in us to be great, to rule ( Gen 1:28) But our definition of success it distorted. We think great is power and authority, to command. Jesus see’s greatness as – SERVING
A – Application While they (the disciples) are struggling and arguing how to be great, Jesus starts serving and becomes least (John 13) True greatness is in serving. But not as an event or project! But propelled by Love!! Jesus served to the point of Death!
P – Prayer Dear Lord, help me to live my life not striving to be great. Help me to Serve and be propelled by Love!!
S – Scripture Exodus 33:22-23
And while my glory passes by, I will put you in a “cleft” of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. vs 23 Then I will take away my hand and YOU SHALL SEE MY BACK.
O – Observation
When the dark times of our lives comes it’s only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered and protected me with his hand. Thats why it is so dark and I feel the darkness. I may sense or believe it is the worst place to be and it feels like I’m never going to get out. It feels like God is so far away or has abandoned me. BUT, actually the opposite is true. God is passing by. Could the dark time actual be the best time? The time when God is actually the closest to us, at work making his perfect will???
A – Application
Though it is a dark time in our life and we can’t see and our world seems to be free falling and we utterly feel alone, Christ is the most present to us. I need to SEE it for what it is. He is NOT far or absent. In fact, He is the closest to us that He can be. He has us safe and protected with his hand in the cleft of the rock is what Exodus 33:22-23 says. Then He will remove his hand and we will LOOK and SEE His Back. He was there all along. When the season of darkness is over and we come out of it, if we “REMEMBER to LOOK, we will see God’s back. When I look in the rearview mirror, I can see that he was there all along. How about that! God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors!!
P – Prayer
Lord thank you for revealing your truth about the dark times in my life. I know longer have to be afraid but can trust that you are close by and you have hidden me in the cleft of the rock. Thank you that you reveal yourself in Rearview Mirrors. Help me to always remember to look so I can see your back…… AMEN