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Today's post was written by Ron Edmondson. The myth he addresses is prevalent, but the truth is more encouraging.
I occasionally like to correct a myth I have heard all my life. How many times has someone said to you, “God will never put more trials on you than you can bear”? I challenge you to show me that in the Bible. The problem I have with this myth is that it keeps so many believers wondering why they can’t handle their problems, falsely believing they should be able to, because someone once told them the lie that God would not put more on them than they could.

Yes, we do have the promise that we will not be “tempted beyond what you can bear” (I Corinthians 10:13), but we need to understand what that verse is saying. It says that God will not allow Satan to bring temptation, or enticement to sin, into our life that is too much for us to say no to it. When we are tempted to sin, God will make a way for us to resist it. That is because He wants us to live holy, just as Christ who calls us is holy.

Consistently, throughout the Bible, I read where at times God allowed more trials, more pressure, than His children could bear. Elijah, the powerful prophet of God who held back the rain had a time when the trial must have been bigger than his ability to handle it. Consider this verse: “The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (I Kings 19:7) Once when Paul wrote to the people at Corinth (II Corinthians 1:8), he told them that he and his followers faced trials “far beyond our ability to endure”. David, the great war hero and man after God’s own heart, told the Lord that “troubles without number surround me” and “I cannot see”. He couldn’t see clearly, because he was overwhelmed with the storms of life! Another time David said “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.” (Oh how I identify with David there!) Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” II Chronicles 20:12) It sounds like he was facing more than he could handle on his own.

Are there times when God allows more troubles in your life than you can bear? Absolutely! Positively! If you can accept my testimony as an example, let me tell you that sometimes life throws more at me than I can handle, at least more than I can handle alone. The reason God allows you and I to experience times when we are consumed by trials, when they are bigger than our own strength can handle, is so that we have nowhere else to turn, except towards Him. We are faced with one solution, that we realize Christ is our only hope!

After Paul wrote that his trial was bigger than his ability to endure, he offers an explanation. “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (II Corinthians 1:9) He recognized that this overwhelming time of trouble, that he couldn’t handle alone, had caused him to focus more on the power of God, and allow God to work His perfect will.

Are you being challenged beyond your ability to endure? Don’t believe that you can do it alone! You can’t! Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing!” (John 15:5) Did you get that point? Nothing! Don’t try anything today without relying on the power of God! He knows you're weak, but He is available to help, if you will call upon Him! When we are at our weakest, He is strong!


I believe that the grace of God is much more amazing than we as humans can comprehend, and yet it is available to each one of us. Ephesians 2:1-3 describes the dire situation that the human race was left in because of Adam’s sin. Then verse 4 starts with “But God”. It begins the explanation we find in Ephesians 2:4-7 of God’s mercy and grace. Mercy means that we are not given the punishment that we deserve. Grace means that we are given the salvation that we don’t deserve. Both are given to us because of Christ, a fact that is repeated three times in these four verses, and they are gifts that are available to anyone, even the thief who was minutes from death on the cross beside Jesus. Because of Christ we have been transformed from spiritual death to spiritual life. We have been raised up in Him, and when this life is over we will be with Him in the heavenly realms. Spiritually, we are already there. This was made possible only because He loved us enough to die as a sacrifice in our place. Can you even begin to imagine this?!

I am also encouraged by Ephesians 2:7 which tells us that the surpassing wealth of His grace will be demonstrated to us in the coming ages. It is only going to get better and better. We will continue to know God more and more, but what I find most uplifting is that we are not expected to know it all right now. God’s love and grace is beyond what we can fathom, but there is a lot that He has already made known to us as well. He has given us the gift of the scriptures, His Holy Word, so that we might learn more about Him and His great love at our own pace. No pressure. It’s a gift.

Do you ever feel like God doesn’t answer your prayers? I do. Particularly lately, I feel like He is ignoring my requests for pain relief. Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us that He is able to do so much more than we could ask or imagine. So, if that’s the case, why doesn’t He heal me? Perhaps because He is doing something beyond my imagination. Perhaps He has a better plan in mind. I can’t conceive what that might be, but isn’t that what this verse is all about?

In Ephesians 3:14-19, Paul makes some pretty bold requests—essentially that we would have the power and knowledge of Christ within us, and in fact have Christ Himself within us. Yet, Paul believed not only that God was able to accomplish this, but that He was (and since it is in the present tense, still is) able far beyond Paul’s (or our) expectations. Even though Paul seems to be asking a lot, he is in fact not asking too much. We cannot ask too much of God, because whatever we think to ask is well within His power. That does not mean that we will always get things just the way we ask for them. God has purposes beyond what we could imagine as well, and we know that His purposes for us are good. (Romans 8:28, Matthew 7:11) God wants to give us good gifts, but He also wants us to be humble, and to bring Him the glory. He wants our requests to be made according to His will. (John 15:7, John 14:13-14)

The beginning of Ephesians 3:20 talks about the power that is working within us. If we allow Christ to work through us, and in us, we will be much more effective. God’s desire is to make us more like Jesus, and in order to accomplish this, we need to do things His way. I know that it isn’t easy to give up control, but if we give it to God, life can be so much better than we imagine. God’s grace and mercy and love and power will never run out. They are infinite, not limited by our finite minds. His goodness to us will not change; we just need to be willing to accept it, and to allow Him to have the praise and the glory. God sees the end from the beginning and we can trust that He has our best interests at heart.


Suffering. We question why it has to happen, and we try to avoid it, but it is all around us. Many wonder why God would let bad things happen to good people. Others argue that none of us are good. We shouldn’t be surprised by our troubles. God has told us that we will face trials, (Genesis 3:16-19, John 16:33) and He tells us in 1 Peter 5:6-7 what to do with them.

I have heard people quote 1 Peter 5:7 many times over the years, and very often they have omitted the word 'by' and changed the tense of the verb 'casting' to 'cast'. They have had to do that because they have not quoted it with 1 Peter 5:6. The two verses are in fact one sentence. When verse 6 is not included, the full meaning of the passage is lost. Yes, it is encouraging to tell someone that God cares for them, and to cast their burdens on Him, but there is more to it than that.

For many of us, certainly for me, a lot of our anxieties are a result of our pride. We want to be in control, to do things our way, and to make something of ourselves. What we need to realize is that God already has a plan for our lives, (Jeremiah 29:11) and if we will simply agree to His plan and do things His way, we will have no need to be anxious. (Matthew 6:25-34) He will take all of our troubles onto His shoulders. It’s not that we won’t have any trials to face, but He will be right there facing them with us, giving us the strength and resources we need to get through them. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

It takes humility to depend on someone else, to allow someone else to take care of us. But God promises that in due time—HIS timing—He will exalt us, IF we will humble ourselves. Biblical humility does not mean that we need to have a low opinion of ourselves. In fact it will allow us to have more confidence, because if we submit to God’s plan for our lives, and let Him take care of our difficulties, we know that everything will work out. (Romans 8:28) If we read 1 Peter 5:6-7 together we will realize that the way to be successful, exalted, is to humble ourselves, and we do that by casting all our cares on God and trusting in His power and goodness.

A few days ago a friend posted on Facebook that she heard a song with the line, “What if our blessings come through raindrops?” She was driving to work in the rain at the time. At that point I had never heard it, but later in the day another friend on Facebook posted a link to that very song. It is called Blessings by Laura Story. I was so moved by the song that I had to write about it.

The song questions, as the songwriter has, what blessings really are. We have the idea that blessings are good health, comfort, prosperity. Certainly blessings are not suffering, or trials or sleepless nights. Or are they? Is there more to God’s plan for our lives than we can understand? I’m sure of it. God allowed Job to be tested by Satan to prove Job’s faithfulness. Job didn’t understand why all those hard things were happening in his life, but he maintained his hope in God, and Job passed the test. (Job 13:15) At the end of it Job learned that God is God, and it was not Job's place to question Him. (Job 42:1-6) God's ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and beyond our understanding. (Job 36:26, Job 37:5, Psalm 147:5)

Laura Story says, “The album that I did, I guess about three or four years ago, had happened right after my husband went through surgery for a brain tumour, and so a lot of the ideas that I was writing about then were just very fresh, about how we worship in the midst of trials. And so, fast-forward a few years later, a lot of things have changed; a lot of things have gotten better with his health. A lot of things have not. And trying to figure out, you know, we pray for God to bless us; what does it look like when I spend four or so years praying for healing for my husband that never comes? You know, I feel like that we’ve kind of gotten to a place of having to make a choice. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances that we don’t understand, or are we going to choose to judge our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God?

One of the lines from this song says, “We doubt Your goodness; we doubt Your love, as if every promise from Your Word is not enough.” God has given us His Word to instruct us and to encourage us. He has told us how much He loves us, (John 3:16) and that He wants only the best for us. (Matthew 7:11, Jeremiah 29:11) Let’s take a step of faith and believe Him. Trust in His promises.

Please take a few minutes to listen to this beautiful song.

You can visit Laura Story's official website here.

I’m not very good at waiting. It is said that in Canada there are two seasons—winter and construction. We are currently in the construction season, and I would rather drive around the construction than wait for the flag person to allow me to go down the one open lane of torn up highway. It may take longer to go around, but at least I would feel like I was doing something. Recent events in my life, however, have been teaching me how to wait, a lesson that Jeremiah also learned.

The first two and a half chapters of Lamentations recount the difficulties that Jeremiah faced—much worse than anything I’ve ever faced I might add. In my post of March 25, 2011 I talked about Jeremiah’s change of focus. In Lamentations 3:21-24, Jeremiah stopped focusing on his own trials and started to focus on God’s mercy and faithfulness.

In Lamentations 3:25-26, Jeremiah concludes that the Lord is good, and that it is good to wait patiently for the Lord’s deliverance. Other than that obvious point, I think there are two more worth noticing. First, Jeremiah says that the Lord is good to those who trust in Him and those who seek Him. We need to believe that God is good; that’s the trusting part, but no one says that we can’t earnestly pray for that deliverance while we wait. In fact, we are encouraged to pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6, Luke 18:1-8 April 11, 2011)

The second point is that Jeremiah has moved from depression to hope, and is now at the point of encouraging others to trust and wait patiently. God comforts and sustains us through our afflictions, so that we might be a comfort and encouragement to others. (II Corinthians 1:3-4) Our hardships generally come from our own mistakes or simply because we live in a world that is imperfect, where there is a constant battle between good and evil. (June 3, 2011) God doesn’t allow us to face trials beyond what we can bear, (I Corinthians 10:13) but when we do face trials, He brings good from them, (Romans 8:28) and through them gives us the ability to bring hope to others. Trust God, pray and wait patiently. The Lord is good.

I find myself apologizing a lot, not always for something I have done, but often for what I am not able to do. I feel bad when I am a burden to others because of my injuries. I always want to do the right thing, and pull my own weight, but I am just not physically capable. This is similar to the frustration that Paul felt in Romans 7:19-25. He wanted to do the right thing too, but he found that he often did the very thing that he didn’t want to do, because his sinful nature was battling against him.

We can, however, both be assured and encouraged by Romans 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, there are natural consequences for our mistakes, our weaknesses and our sins. And there are times of trial that we must face even though we did nothing to deserve them. But there are no situations in which God is punishing us. None, zero, zilch. I believe that God does teach us through the situations we face, and helps us grow to become more like Christ through them, but this is not punishment. All punishment for our sins was paid for by Jesus on the cross. We are now co-heirs with Christ to the kingdom of God. We are Christ’s brothers and sisters, children of God our Father. Just as God was pleased with Jesus in II Peter 1:17, He is pleased with us. He loves us more than we can fully understand.

That is not to say that God is pleased with the sins we keep committing. It does not mean that we don’t deserve condemnation, but it does mean that the price for our sin has been paid. If we accept Christ’s sacrifice, and we are in Christ Jesus, then His Spirit lives in us. If we yield ourselves to the Spirit, we will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, (Galatians 5:22-23) and we will want to avoid sinning, just as Paul did. If we live according to the Spirit, we will have life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

Do you ever feel alone? Do you feel like you just can’t face another day without some help? Does it feel like everything is always going wrong? Jesus promised us a Helper and an Advocate, so that you wouldn’t have to face anything alone.

When Jesus was on earth, He taught His disciples and guided them, but as He prepared to ascend to heaven, He promised to ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to take His place and to live with the disciples, and by extension us, forever. (John 14:16) Since Jesus and the Father are one, when Jesus asked the Father for something, it happened, but the promise was predicated on a condition.

In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Love here is not a sentiment or an emotion, but a commitment and dedication to Jesus that was demonstrated by obeying Him. Everything that is taught by Jesus in the gospels and throughout the New Testament is there for us to learn from and to follow so that we might be more like Christ. Even though every day brings trials that we must face and deal with, our responsibility is to continue to follow Christ. In Matthew 6:33, we are told that we need to pursue His kingdom and His righteousness above all else. If we do we what we are responsible for, He will take care of the rest. And we know that nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37, Luke 18:27, Mark 10:27)

I can’t promise you that things won’t keep going wrong. As a matter of fact, I can pretty much guarantee that they will, (John 16:33) but you don’t have to face them alone. If you have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and gift of eternal life, and if you strive to obey His commandments, the Holy Spirit will be right there beside you and within you to be your Helper and your Advocate.

It’s Friday the 13th. Do you believe that that means you will have bad luck today? Do you avoid going out in public or trying anything new because of the date? Now, I don’t want to criticize you if you just joke about things like that, but there are people who seriously believe that Friday the 13th means bad luck, just as it is bad luck to let a black cat cross your path, or to walk under a ladder. To be honest, it is probably good advice not to walk under a ladder, but not because it will bring bad luck, just because it is safer that way.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, (I Timothy 4:1-7) he warns Timothy to be aware of false teaching, and instructs him to focus on the truth. These days truth is seen as a relative thing—what is the truth for me might not be the truth for you—but this is not the way God sees it. Paul encouraged Timothy to focus on God’s truth, and to reject anything that did not agree with it, including “myths fit only for the godless and the gullible”. (I Timothy 4:7) In the New International Version, this verse reads, "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly."

When Paul wrote to Timothy he discussed the issues of marriage and of restricting oneself from eating certain foods because those were the issues that were current and relevant to the people that Timothy was teaching. But Paul’s words apply to everything. All things created by God are good (Genesis 1), and we are to receive them all with thankfulness. God created the days by separating light from darkness, (Genesis 1:4-5) and in that way today is just like any other--neither good nor bad in and of itself.

A friend of mine got married on a Friday the 13th several years ago. Many of her friends and acquaintances asked her why she would want to get married on that date; wouldn’t it be better to get married on a date that wouldn’t bring bad luck? My friend decided that it was even more important to get married on that date (besides that the timing was good for her and her husband-to-be) because it was a chance to tell people about her beliefs. She believes in a God who is in control of the universe, and although there might be bad things that happen in the world, it is not because of luck, but because we live in a world where good battles evil. Don’t give in to the evil; focus on God’s truth. Enjoy this day and all the blessings that God has for you in it.

This year, where I live in Canada, we have been longing for Spring, but it is seems so slow in arriving. Everyone around me is tired of the cold, the snow and the grey days. We long for sunshine and warm temperatures. It is interesting how the weather and other circumstances in our life can affect our moods. That wasn’t the case for the Apostle Paul; if anyone had reason to be discouraged, he did. Among other things he was beaten, shipwrecked and imprisoned. (II Corinthians 11:24-33) He endured hardship after hardship; yet he continued to rejoice, and to exhort others to rejoice also.

Philippians 4:4 is not the first time in this letter that Paul encourages the people of Philippi, and by extension us, to rejoice. (Philippians 3:1) The entire emphasis of this letter is joy. For Paul, joy was not the result of circumstances, but found in his relationship with the Lord. Paul was also able to see the blessings that surrounded him. Not only had he been brought through all the trials mentioned above, but in Philippians 4:3 he recalled the names of his fellow workers and that their names were written in the book of life. He focused on the great rewards of their service, not on the hardships they would encounter along the way. Although he knew first-hand what kind of hardships there could be, and that they would encounter more of them, he continued to remind the Philippians to rejoice. It was not a natural reaction to circumstances, but a discipline, an intentional act of devotion to God. Joy is a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and a sign of true faith. If we really believe that we have given control of our lives over to a sovereign God, and we believe that He only wants what is best for us (Jeremiah 29:11, Luke 11:9-13), that His grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9) and that there is a purpose for our trials (James 1:2-4), we will be able to have joy even in the most trying of circumstances.

I have heard people say on numerous occasions that the best way to cheer up your spirit is to read the book of Philippians, Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi, every day for a month. So I challenge you, for the month of May, in an attempt to bring the encouragement for which you would usually depend on Spring, to read Philippians once a day. Sign up to “attend” our Facebook event for a daily, gentle reminder. In the next several posts, to prepare for our month of rejoicing, I will focus on some of the other memos from God found in Philippians 4.