The Joy of Being Given More Than You Can You Handle

March 29, 2013 · 9 comments

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by Gloria Furman

Do you ever feel like God has given you “more than you can handle?”

I regularly have this thought, and my pride doesn’t want it to be true. The hot air escaping my burst ego when I realize that I just can’t “handle it” is almost audible. Honest thoughts about my weaknesses do not occur as a grace to me that raise my awareness to the fact that “In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).

God tells us not to lean on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5), because there isn’t anything there to hold us up. Jesus, who holds our lives in his hand, calls us to abide in him as he abides in us, because apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

Sinful pride begs to differ—why can’t I be the exception? Could I not just tip my hat to the Lord for his wisdom in discerning what I can handle on my own? Does my life have to be included in the universe that Jesus holds together by the word of his power (Col. 1:17, Heb. 1:3)? I’d rather meet all my needs according to my own riches.

But praise the Lord! We don’t have to hold out for vain consolations that we will eventually muster our own strength and rise to the occasion to prove our competence. Instead, we have blood-bought promises purchased for us through the work of Jesus on the cross. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). And though he was crucified in weakness, Jesus lives by the power of God (2 Cor. 13:4). Our Hope is neither trivial nor fleeting because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb—our hope is set on the living God (1 Tim. 4:10).

We can cut off the fuel supply to our joy-hating pride by celebrating God’s sufficient grace, boasting all the more gladly in our weakness so the power of Christ rests on us (2 Cor. 12:9-10). And by serving with the strength that God supplies so that God gets the glory through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 4:11). And by relying not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:9). There is deep joy and contentment to be had when we rest in the Lord, a God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6). Our inadequacy, weakness, and frailty give us cause to rejoice in the mercy of God who sustains our lives.

The calendar says that this is Easter weekend, yet we recognize that Easter is a reality that we live in and celebrate every day.

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 6:11).

He who raised the Lord Jesus on Easter morning will raise us also with Jesus and bring the church into his presence (2 Cor. 4:14). The day is coming when we will be raised from the dead imperishable (1 Cor. 15:52). Raised imperishable—and still God’s joyfully-dependent creatures. That’s more joy than we can handle. Praise God that his grace will remain sufficient throughout eternity!


ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tim March 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm

More than I can handle? It seems like I’m recognizing that more and more all the time, Gloria! I am so glad Jesus handles things for me, and that I get to live in this truth you stated so well:

“The calendar says that this is Easter weekend, yet we recognize that Easter is a reality that we live in and celebrate every day.”

Every. single. day!

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2 Gloria March 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Yes! On the cross Jesus bore that which we could never, ever handle. And blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah – Ps 68:19

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3 Lisa Spence March 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I well remember my coming to the realization that my desperation, my insufficiency, was actually a GIFT! Seeing my inadequacy propels me to the cross and to Jesus’ glorious adequacy. How I need Him! May I be like Paul, boasting in my weaknesses because when I am weak He is strong. His grace is sufficient, yes and amen!

Happy Easter, friend. He is risen!

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4 Peyton April 3, 2013 at 6:17 am

Hallelujah, Lisa, Hallelujah! It IS a gift. Thank you, Gloria, for sharing.

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5 Beth Michaels April 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Wonderful points made!
I think that it’s easy to assume that God will never give us more than we can handle because we know that he is perfectly just, and to our human minds, this just doesn’t feel “fair.” However, when we redefine justice as begining with God and consider that at its essence grace is “unfair” we should ultimately be grateful that he might humble us by revealing our inadequacy in light of his perfection.

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6 Kendra April 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I’ve been thinking about this post since I read it last week – such a good reminder and encouragement. However, it left me thinking…is there ever a point where we do say this is too much and something has to give? Are we ever presuming upon God’s grace when the reality may be that we’ve taken on too much? Or do we hold on and trust more? I don’t know I would really love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for this post.

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7 Gloria April 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Hi Kendra! Great question! We’re at the airport about to board a plane for a 24-hour commute to the TGC conference. And on a few occasions while trying to get out of te house I thought we’d bitten off more than we can chew logistically with everything we did today. Praise te Lord, there is his sufficient grace even when we mess up and pridefully presume we are able to do this or that. Everything from his hand is good, and he turns even our sin into opportunities to cherish his grace. I hope this helps answer your question in between takin my kiddos tote potty for “one more one last potty before we fly.” :)

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8 Amy April 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I needed this today! And that has been “my verse” lately…Romans 8:11 :)

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9 Kara @ The Chuppies April 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

Love this encouragement…thank you.
Also appreciate Kendra’s questions above & your response.
It’s a constant tension, trusting God for provision and knowing He can provide, while also listening to the nudge of the Holy Spirit. But I love what you said…we can still look to Him when we have “messed up” :)

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