FAITH & SPIRITUALITY // JAMES 1:2-4 // GOD WILL NOT GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE
I saw a blog post on this topic recently, and it is something that Mike and I were talking about just the other day. Through my interactions with other people, and the timing of all of this, I felt it was something about which I should write.
Let me start by saying, I hate this phrase. Say that to someone who is struggling with suicidal depression, a woman whose son just got killed serving our country, the mother who has slept in a cot at the bedside of her child who lives in a children's hospital. They would disagree...or so it would seem. Sometimes it feels that God does give us more than we can handle; yet, there is an important set of words that is forgotten off the end of that quote.
God does not give you more than you can handle is not untrue. However, the crucial part of this phrase that is so often left out is that God does not give you more than you can handle, WITH HIM. In the moments where we no longer feel like we can keep going, the mornings where we cannot get out of bed, the days that just seem to drag on and on, and the paint that feels like it weighs us down eternally, we are able to keep going and keep taking steps forwards because of HIM.
Without God, we couldn't handle it. Heck, life sucks sometimes. It is not fair, it never will be. This is the unfortunate fact of our reality. That being said, with God, we can not only survive, but we can thrive.
In those moments of uncertainty and faithlessness there is one person that will never let you down, that will always be there for you, and that is the ultimate comforter. Someone who is always listening, who not only wants to get down in the trenches with you, but has been there before you and cried there before you -- yeah folks, Jesus wept, its pretty humbling.
Those of you that know me well know that the verse that means more to me than anything in the world is James 1:2-4. This verse says,
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
I need patience more than anything in the world, but this verse has spoken to me in SO many different ways throughout my life. I always think it is beautiful the way the same words can have so many different meanings at different times in our life. In this case, James tells us that it is the trying of our faith that works patience in us. Without this trial period, this testing, this hardship, patience would not come about. Think of it almost like a baby chicken being born -- it must have the incubation period before it can hatch forth into the world and do its thing. That trial period is not God testing us, but it is Him strengthening us under His guidance so that patience can have its full effect so that we can feel COMPLETE.
Wouldn't it be beautiful if we really let Him work in us like that. How often do we wish that we could feel complete and whole. In a generation where our entire world and life is compared to those of others on social media and we are left feelings no good enough and incomplete, God promises to make us whole if we only let go and let Him work in us.
Next week I am going to write on this very topic -- the dissatisfaction we experience in the world today, the insecurities and self-worth issues this leads to, and how to actively fight it every single day to lead a more content and purpose-driven life.
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