Sometimes life it just too much to deal with. When it seems like everything that could go wrong is going wrong, and then something else goes wrong, it’s often more than we can possible tackle on our own. Fortunately, as a child of God, you don’t have to deal with it on your own at all. Understanding how to deal with life when life is more than you can deal with is something we all need to understand.
Have you ever heard it said that God won’t put more on you than you are able to bear? This often quoted “scripture” actually doesn’t appear in the Bible at all. Many well-meaning Christians say this to people who are dealing with a hard time in an attempt to encourage them. Unfortunately, since it’s not in the Bible, many people have built an idea of God based on something that doesn’t appear in Scripture at all.
Even though we don’t like to accept it, there are times where God allows us to face things that are more than we can handle on our own. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t relentlessly love His people. This doesn’t mean that God revels in our suffering. Instead, those moments where we’re left to deal with problems that are more than we can handle on our own, we learn a lot about God and ourselves.
How do we handle it when life is more than we can handle? Coming to the realization that God does allow His people to deal with things that are far beyond our own abilities is the first step. The decisions we make after coming to that realization is often the key to overcoming the stress and anxiety associated with the trials and tribulation that are such a part of life.
Resting in God’s Power
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
Three different times I asked the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In the verses that proceed this portion of Scripture, Paul discusses a thorn in the flesh that he dealt with. For years, theologians have debated what this thorn in the flesh was. Some believe it was a physical ailment while others believe that it was a mental issue. Still others believe that it was some sort of temptation that Paul was prone to.
While we don’t have any way to know for a certainty what Paul’s thorn was, we do know that it was more than he could handle on his own. That’s why he asked God three times to take it away from him. However, God refused. Instead, He told Paul that His strength was made perfect in Paul’s weakness.
When you’re dealing with something that is too hard for you to handle on your own, rest in His power. His power is greater than your issue, and it serves as a chance for you to become strong through the power of Christ.
Rest in His Presence
Psalm 139:8-10 (NLT)
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night-but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
One of the most difficult parts about trials is found in the fact that they often leave us feeling alone. We convince ourselves that no one knows how we feel, and even worse, that no one cares. Many of us have a natural reaction to troubles: we isolate. In the same way that a turtle retreats into its shell when faced with danger, we retreat into our own shell and wallow in our self-pity.
This is a dangerous approach to trouble on two levels. First of all, God never tells us to isolate from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Actually, He tells us to do the contrary. In the book of James, Christ’s half-brother tells us to confess our problems to our brothers and sisters (James 5:16). It’s amazing how much comfort you can find simply by finding a fellow believer who you can be vulnerable with.
Without even realizing it, connecting with other members of the family of God puts us in His presence. Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), being with other believers is a form of being in God’s presence.
However, even when we feel alone in our flesh, we are not alone. David knew all about dealing with things that were too big for him. When he was a teenager, he stood in front of a giant and killed Goliath based on the presence of God in his life. With no formal government training, David went from being a shepherd to being a king because he had God’s presence with him. David’s reign was filled with problems that were too big for David, but David continually relied upon the presence of God to help him overcome the issues that could have derailed him.
You are not alone! If the problem that you’re facing is too much for you, rest in God’s presence and connect with other carriers of His presence.
Rest in His Promise
John 16:33 (NLT)
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
This promise of Christ is actually two promises in one. However, the first part of the promise is not one that we like to embrace. Jesus said that as long as we are on this earth, we will have many trials and sorrows. When we build our theology around the false premise that God won’t put more on us than we can bear, this is an incredibly difficult pill to swallow. We would be absolutely hopeless if the promise ended there. Fortunately, Christ didn’t leave us hopeless and helpless. Instead, He finished the promise by assuring us that He has already overcome everything that will come against us.
The final step to dealing with the problems that are too big for us is simple: rest in the promises of God. While we specified this particular promise, there are thousands of promises contained within your Bible. When you’re dealing with something that is more than you can handle, open your Bible and start looking for those promises.
Don’t just look for them. Highlight them, write them down, save them to your phone or tablet where you’re reading your Bible. You can put on the promises of God like a coat that keeps you warm from the coldness of life.
Contrary to what you may have heard, God will absolutely allow you to go through things that are simply too hard for you. While we may try to wish them away, these times of sorrow are actually an opportunity to see God move in our lives in a way that we’ve never imagined before. Child of God, you are not alone in your sorrow. He is with you every step of the way.
A Closing Prayer:
God, I know that what I’m facing is too heavy for me. But I also know that You never intended for me to carry this load on my own. Let me experience Your power like never before. Help me to connect with others so I can fully experience Your presence. Finally, remind me of Your promises. In Christ’s name, Amen