Will God allow you to suffer more than you can bear? Part 2

This week’s post follows up on last week’s debate about whether God will allow you to suffer more than you can bear

http://hweehweetan.com/will-god-allow-you-to-suffer-more-than-you-can-bear/

In last week’s post, I concluded that God does some times put us through circumstances which are beyond what we can bear.

In those impossible times, what can we do?

The first step is to use the power of prayer, to cast your burden on God. In 1 Peter 5:7, it says, “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” When you feel crushed by your burden, know that God does not want you to bear your burden by yourself, but that God wants to carry your burden for you.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus tells us –

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will

gave you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and

humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

In prayer, give up your crushing load to the Lord and have faith that He will strengthen you and deliver you.

It is through accepting our helplessness and turning to God’s power to help us that we can be rescued. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10:

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”

Here Paul speaks in metaphors. To experience the resurrection life of Jesus, we have to first experience a metaphorical death. When we experience a weakness so great that we are as helpless as a dead person, when we are faced with this utter inability to cope by ourselves and when we surrender our hopeless selves to God, he empowers us, grants us the victory and deliverance and gives life to our lifeless selves.

Sometimes God puts us in difficult circumstances so that we will rely on His strength to do the impossible and change the circumstance. But what if He doesn’t rescue us? When that happens, we can develop the ability through God to stand strong, be patient and endure the circumstance. In tough times, God either rescues us or pours out his overwhelming peace in our heart. As we experience God’s deliverance and peace, this grows our faith and enables us to trust Him greater with our lives and difficult circumstances.

We might not always be rescued from our burdens but when we are crushed, God promises us His comfort. In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul writes

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

When we feel overwhelmed by our burdens, God comes to comfort us. And when we receive His strength to carry on, the next time we meet a fellow Christian who is going through a tough time, we can use our comfort in sufferings as a testimony to encourage them. Then as brothers and sisters in Christ, we can all bond by sharing the comfort we find in God in the midst of our dark times.

Life can be overwhelming but we can find reassurance that we are not meant to carry our burdens on our own. In Galatians 6:2, Paul writes, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When we feel we cannot cope, it is ok to reach out to others for help. Sometimes we resist sharing our troubles and asking for help because we want to be seen to be self-reliant and our pride prevents us from reaching out. But we were not created by God to be able to handle everything by ourselves. This is why we need to live in community with other strong Christians, so we can grow closer by helping to carry each other’s burdens.

In conclusion, when God gives us more than we can handle, that can be a blessing in disguise. In those dark circumstances, we can learn to rely on God and receive his deliverance, comfort and peace. We can also have the opportunity to turn to others for help and thus build bonds with our fellow Christians through our trials. God can indeed turn all things together for our good!

  • Kim

    Hi Hwee Hwee,

    These are all very interesting and well-thought of reflections written in a way that is easy to understand and comprehend. I am making it a habit already to read your webpage on weekly basis to take in your insights in Christian Living.

    I find whatever you write as straightforward compilations of accumulated experiences and spiritual summarizations that bridges the spiritual and the worldly in a way that could make anyone understand and connect better with how Christian Living interfaces with life in general – a touching base with all the obstacles we face and how our attitudes should be towards coping and accepting.

    At least for me this webpage is already becoming a helpful guide that generates further thoughts about living – both in general and in Christ – that hopefully will lead to new creative ways of managing life in a healthy and confident assurance.

    I cannot help wondering if God sometimes allows us to break down so completely that we may be built up again from scratch and/ or show that we will always take our refuge in Him – no matter what the circumstances may be.

    The worry of a complete breakdown is naturally how to get back up on your feet and face the facts, realizing that things have actually been beyond what we can bear and accepting that we could not have taken another step without the support of someone or something else.

    Agreeably, it may sometimes seem impossible to look up and ask for help or stretch out a trembling hand when your face is stuck in the mud and the gravity of the world has overpowered you. You then definitely need a friend… or a helper… that is always ready to respond to your silent cries for mercy.

    Would it be advisable to attempt to make a closure in extending the 1 Co. 10:13 from temptations (the topic being separated from sufferings, yet temptations do risk resulting in sins that evidently will lead to suffering) into a gentle compromise written as ‘…also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it’ – that would say from sufferings – once you would be able to later on understand some of the reasons for why these sufferings?

    A secondary thought is a reflection of an old army verse that has been beaten into my brain during earlier years – saying: ‘everything that doesn’t kill toughens’. In this case ‘toughens’ also means ‘strengthens’. It spells attitude… but perhaps in a negatively stubborn way of attaining battle scars and preaching survival… so let’s try change ‘toughens’ to ‘encourages’ in a sense of being able to ‘move on’ instead. Wars do cease – Swords to Ploughshares – to ascertain peace.
    At the same time I must admit it to be a bit perplexing to consider that one has to accept a sort of death in order to be able to rise again and to live on. It is like becoming a revived casualty of faith.

    Got the time to write and so I did. Not sure if whatever I have replied here makes as good sense as what you have already written. I am not a pro. 😉

    Just want to show my genuine interest regarding the following chapter(s) and share some of the thoughts that they have sparked off, see if they land safely within range of target or if I am firing blindly here.

    Kim