Thursday, September 21, 2023
More than We Can Handle
More than We Can Handle
by David Brenneman
Ever wake up mentally sore? Instantly remembering yesterday's battles? This has been me of late. I know what it's connected to, just am trying through God's provision to get through it.
It's not easy standing firm, standing your ground, in your faith in Christ Jesus. This blog is spreading at an incredible pace. God's doing it, not me. He brings you, my Dear Reader, to find it. God's enemy, Satan, doesn't like it when anyone is pointing people to Jesus.
Paul knew with all certainly of having troubles without end. Anxiety was something he dealt with almost daily.
"To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?" 2 Corinthians 11:21-29.
Yes, it even was he who penned "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.
"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
And let us not forget "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2.
Paul knew many sorrows, many anxious nights and days. Knew the same things that we go through daily. Knew how to combat it, but still endured it.
In all reality, if we could 'handle' life, we wouldn't be in such need to comfort others with the same comfort we received ourselves. 2 Corinthians 1:4 "who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
There's that word again. Affliction.
We aren't going to escape afflictions in living life for Jesus. He told us up front to expect them.
Paul often compared life to that of a soldier. All training that a soldier receives is technically affliction. It's a heavy burden. It's rough. It's complicated. It's difficult. It pushes us to extremes we do not desire.
My life right now is this way.
It certainly feels like more than I can handle. It certainly is rough. It is complicated. I am waiting on the Lord Jesus to provide the way of escape for me. In this I would covet your prayers. I often feel like work is becoming a lion's den. My faith is being challenged. I have a Supervisor who certainly does not understand the things of God because they are indeed foreign to him, because they are spiritually discerned. His wisdom certainly is of this world and not of God.
Indeed life is more than I can handle on my own. I am being pressured into things at work that, for an introvert like myself, is too much to cope with.
But as Paul also says "God is faithful..."
He knew as much as I do, that God was indeed with him. His human side still struggled with the things that were for him to live through. Jesus told Ananias that Paul would be shown how much he would suffer.
I have told many that the passage that says "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." in Proverbs 3:5-6, means we must be moving forward for Him to direct one's steps. He can't guide feet that aren't moving.
I, to say the least, am not a happy camper. I would much rather avoid confrontations. Would much rather not go through what all that I am going through. People that I work for tout building trust yet aren't doing anything to get to know people in the real sense of the word. Are not showing trust by believing them about things.
"Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25.
So drawing near to Jesus in prayer is what I am doing. If no one else bears my burdens, I know that He will. If no one else listens, He will. "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.