2 Corinthians 1:8, 11 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself… You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (ESV)
Some have used this phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” To be honest, this is a misleading phrase at best. I think the best intentions behind the saying are beautiful. Whoever says this to you may be trying to communicate to you that 1. God is always in control; 2. God loves you; and 3. God’s will is always good for you. However, all three of those realities can be true… AND He may give you more than you can handle. This seemed to be true for Paul and what we just read above.
When we receive news that a loved one dies, or we receive a life-threatening diagnosis or the world suffers through a pandemic, it may be more than we can handle. To the point where we are, “so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” Time and time again, God may push us out of the proverbial boat and into the storms of life. To the point we are sinking and crying out for salvation.
Why would God do this? The answer lies between verse 8 and verse 11. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”
Friends, we do not find salvation in ourselves. We do not find strength by our own arm, but by the strong arm of the LORD and through His outstretched hand we are saved! You may be experiencing today more than you can handle to the point where you despair of life itself. My encouragement to you today is to take heart! Our hope is set on the one who raises the dead and who delivered us from that deadly peril! We are saved by the work of Jesus, who died for us on the cross! Look to Him and once again put your hope in him today!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.