Pastor's Paragraph for January 13, 2019
JANUARY 13, 2019
As we begin the series “God Never Said That”, we will be challenged to examine our own vocabulary about God, scripture, and Christian living. At times, we fall prey to sharing a word of hopeful support, often received as a word of discouragement, causing one to question the sustaining gift of faith. Although not participating in this forthcoming series, I have listened to Pastor Anna address it. I have sat with many grieving or distraught families only to hear someone say, “Remember, the Bible says God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I gently seek to correct this by indicating this sentence is not found in the Bible. It is a misrepresentation of a passage found in I Corinthians 10:13 which states, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so you can stand up under it.”
Often passed off as scripture, this phrase is biblically inaccurate and logically flawed. First, it is not found in the bible, even though we may have heard many devout persons say it. Second, if God did not give us more than we can handle, why is there a need for God? When we face loss or tragedy, why would we need to seek Him, cry out to Him, rest in Him, or trust in Him when we could simply handle matters ourselves? Dealing with significant loss or wrong decision making throughout my life, there have been times where I simply crumbled and cried out to God to help me, heal me, forgive me, comfort me, and lead me. The truth is, I need the sustaining presence of the Lord in all seasons and situations of life’s journey. I need to submit my heart and release my pain, grief, and uncertainties to Him. Throughout scripture, we are instructed to fix our eyes, mind, hope, and thoughts upon the Lord. We do this recognizing that He is our comfort, our strength, and “ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)
Therefore, I must guard my heart and my words. I want to offer encouragement and not enlarge one’s sorrow or suffering. I applaud pastors Gary and Anna for approaching this topic and seeking to clear up some misunderstanding, so that we can all be followers of Christ who properly handle and share the word of Life!
Pastor Stephen Gallaher
Associate Teaching Minister