His Encouragement: Rely only on God

This post is part of the series His Encouragement

Other posts in this series:

  1. His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for your Thursday
  2. His Encouragement: Psalm 147:3
  3. His Encouragement: Psalm 37:3

Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.

Today’s Encouragement

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia [modern-day Turkey]. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9, NLT

We all have heard the adage: “God will not give you more than you can handle.” However, I am beginning to realize that this view of life challenges is from the wrong direction. It should be: “God helps us handle what we are given.” Let us be very honest: there are some trials and tragedies in this life that we, in our own strength, are not just equipped to handle. They are just too big, too dark, too painful, too overwhelming… no amount of determination and will-power will make things right. I think of the victims of the mass shootings; of devastating natural disasters; of loss of a loved one to illness or accident; of a mental or emotional trauma; survivors of abuse, rape and sex trafficking; and so many other challenges that people struggle with every single day.

The apostle Paul shares how it feels to experience such hardships: “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” How many of us have felt this way? Are you wrestling with these thoughts and feelings right now?

The simple truth is that there will be experiences and situations that are so overwhelming that, left on our own, we cannot endure.

Yet the Lord does not ask us to endure alone. If the Lord, Creator of the universe, can speak life into existence and raise even the dead, then He can help us through. It is no secret. There is only way through the trials and tribulations of the sin-torn world, we must stop “…relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God”.  If we let go of trying to control and trust God to lead us, He will see us safely through to the other side of the trial.

So do not despair! If you feel overwhelmed, if you feel as if you cannot go on, if you feel as if you cannot live through whatever you are facing, then learn to rely only on God no matter the end. (Isaiah 40:28-29) Yet be prepared: sometimes the Lord answers our prayers in unexpected ways.

After losing my mother to complications from cancer a week ago today, I understand this even better now. Though it was not what we prayed for, the Lord blessed us with almost two “extra” months with Mom after she miraculously survived emergency surgery at the beginning of August. This weekend, I listened to a sermon by Pastor Morris Venden called Fellowship of Suffering. If you have lost a loved one or if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you need to listen to this message. Here is a powerful snippet:

“It just might be that God has a greater need for people who have enough faith not to be saved or delivered or healed. He might need more of that group than the group that has the faith to be healed. […] Why?

Because there is something far bigger than getting our prayers answered the way we wish. There is a great controversy going on and God needs a big Honor Guard who will continue to love Him and trust Him regardless of what happens to them. So that the devil’s charge is not founded at all that people serve Him and love Him for what they get out of Him.

And it is about time we got over this thing of thinking that ‘if you had enough faith, you’d be healed’. No, if you have enough faith, you might not be healed. You might join the Honor Guard instead.”

Relying only on God means fully, completely leaning on His strength no matter the situation, no matter the cost, no matter the end. Yes, even unto death. For this world is not our home, and there is something far greater in store. May every deed we do, every word we say — even in the midst of our greatest trials and deepest sorrows — point to the love of the Lord Jesus so that others will see His light shining through us and learn to love Him, too.

Friend, that is our purpose and our privilege. To love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength and mind and, because He first loved us, show this love with all of those we meet. (Matthew 22:36-20) May we be able to sing His praises always. Glory to the Father! Glory to the Son! And to the blessed Spirit!

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:

Hi there, blogger. Would you like to join us in sharing encouragement from the Word of God every Thursday? Don’t be shy! Contact Trisha or Nicole today!

His Encouragement for Your Thursday

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4 Replies to “His Encouragement: Rely only on God”

  1. I love your post. I completely agree that on our own some of the things we go through could very much break us. But with God, He can bring us through anything.

    I really liked this part: “Yet be prepared: sometimes the Lord answers our prayers in unexpected ways.” It’s only in the looking back on my life do I truly see this play out. Most of my prayers have been answered in unexpected, yet better, ways!

    This is a great post!!!

    1. The Lord, who can see the beginning from the end, knows what we truly need even when we may not. Sometimes His answer to our prayers is not how or what we expect, but looking backwards after the fact, we can start to see that He had a greater, better plan all along. I am glad you were encouraged. 🙂

  2. A few months ago I heard a sermon talking about “Christian cliches” and “God will not give you more than you can handle” was the very first in the series to be discussed. It’s a dangerous phrase to share because 1) It’s not what the scripture says 2) God WILL give us more than we can handle so that it will bring us to Him 3) It can cause all kinds of problems for people who ARE given too much to handle so that it cripples them from looking at their situations correctly and 4) It puts the blame on God. The verse that the statement comes from is 1 Cor 10:13 and it talks about TEMPTATION and NOT SUFFERING. The verse says: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
    I’m so sorry about your loss. I pray for God’s comfort and peace over you and your family as I know it’s a very painful time for you.

    1. Thank you so much, Becca. And you are absolutely right! 1 Corinthians 10:13 is discussing temptations, not suffering and trials. It is so very important that we don’t buy in to that cliche or we could be setting ourselves — or others — up for disappointment, confusion, and even more pain. We should embrace the truth: sometimes we WILL face more than we can cope with or endure on our own. We need the Lord! God bless.

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