Illustration by Rachel Ternes
What would the following men have said if a dear, well-meaning individual said to them, “Well, you know, the Lord won’t put on you more than you can bear”?
And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. (1 Kings 19:7-8)
“Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; Then I would have been at rest. (Job 3:11-13)
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)
If I read these passages correctly and there are many others, it sounds like to me that the Lord did put on these men more than they could bear! Truth is, God does give you more than you can handle because He wants you to depend totally on Him. Think about this lame, spiritually sounding phrase against the backdrop of these passages of Scripture:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
These passages address this erroneous statement of the Christianese language. God does put upon us hardships and trials that are too hard for us to handle. He does so to develop Christlikeness in us (Romans 8:28-29) and a dependence upon God alone.
Psalm 18:1-3 — I will love You, O Lord, my strength.The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.