Aaron Jeffers Column: When Reality is Just Too Much
2 Corinthians 1:8-9 “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
Two misquotes of the Bible are the following: “God never gives you more than you can handle.” That’s contorted from 1 Corinthians 10:13, concerning temptation, not all life’s difficulties (Just re-read the 2 Corinthians text). Second misquote, “God helps those who help themselves.” It’s not even in the Bible; Ben Franklin penned those words. The Bible clearly teaches in Romans 5:6, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
So how do we put something we can’t handle in God’s hands?
1) Pray with faithful expectation that’s like a child. Many people pray, but they pray out of disbelief, not expectation. For example, my kids come to me because they know I love them, and that I want to interact in their life. When a telemarketer calls, the feeling is less jovial, and suspicious. Are you praying like a son or a slave?
2) Look for, or have a friend who knows the Bible help you find a promise(s) that employs God’s power and perspective in your situation. For example, if it’s cancer, find healing word in Isaiah 53, Psalm 103, and James 5. Replace worries with meditatively speaking God’s positive words.
3) Take the scripture(s) you are meditating on and turn them into a prayer of agreement with a believing friend (Matthew 18:20).
4) Time does not heal all wounds, contrary to popular belief, but abiding in and with God is a guaranteed recipe for success in life and even physical death (Psalm 91:1).