So, you’re struggling to carry on. You’ve gone over everything again and again. You’ve checked in with God throughout the day and asked him to show you where you need to make a 360 or why your faith is being tried.
You’re in desperate need of someone to talk to, so you bring it up to your pastor or small group. In an attempt to encourage you, someone grabs your hand and tells you, “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.”
Someone else puts their hand on your shoulder and says, “God never gives us more than we can bear.” Then, someone else slips up and boldly quotes 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says in part, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (NLT).
God’s Word is true and at the right time, it is just what we need to hear. We assume at times that when we’re going through a difficult time or struggling with a decision that we don’t already have checked off in our minds what is true. We do. What we’re really wrestling with is the crossroads we inevitably come to and how best to apply that truth at this point and time to our situation.
And you know what? God is totally cool with that.
Those cliched statements we often hear bear limited truth. Here is what I’m sure of:
God gives us more than we can bear sometimes because he wants us to remember that we’re not the ones doing the bearing. He is.
Our world screams independence and autonomy, and in its proper time and place, there is nothing wrong with that. But the bible tells us to trust in God, rely on him, and give him our cares — not circumstances, not careers, not family ties. Our strength compared to God’s strength is weakness. If we desire to win any battles, we’re urged to lean on him.
God gives us tough battles not because we’re strong but because he is faithful.
Every trial, every test of your faith and patience, every frustration is an opportunity in disguise to learn about the faithfulness of God. No one loves you and cares for you more than God. You may have others in your life who can help you through — and I hope you do — but whether you do or not, God has promised that he will be with you always. He doesn’t care how big the test or difficult the decision or how long the trial lasts, he is staying from beginning to end.
God gives us more than we can bear because he knows we are works in progress who will only be refined by fire until his grace is our reflection.
When we begin with God, it’s pretty easy. We learn the fundamentals. We take baby steps. We’re on training wheels. We work through our weaknesses and gradually mature by trial and error. After a while though, the training wheels fall off and we’re put into an arena of sorts where God wants us to remember everything we’ve been taught. He’s always right there, but every situation is transforming us into becoming more like him. Fire burns, remember? But we come out of the fire more merciful, more grateful, more humble, more grace-filled. We don’t know it while we’re in the fire, but He does.
God gives us tough battles for our long-term good and for his immediate glory.
We can’t always see it, but every battle we fight and every burden we bear is for a reason. God could just show us the reason right up front but we would never learn the lesson that way. Eventually, people will know why you went through what you went through and they will be better because of your experience. When they see you come through, you serve as a living witness that they can too. And God gets the glory.
If ‘God never gave us more than we can bear,’ I think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t need him. But every single day proves we can’t do it on our own. We need his help.
Next time, you’re experiencing a difficult period, need to make a tough decision, or are looking to do God’s will when no one else seems to understand, remember God does give us very tough battles at times. But if we trust him, the battle is his to fight for us.