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  • Writer's pictureGWL

More Than We Can Handle?




More Than We Can Handle?

Romans 8:28-35,37-39

Judges 6-7 (Judges 6:14-16)


14 The Lord turned to {Gideon} and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”


15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”


16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”


How many times have we heard, or been told (by some well-meaning friend) when facing some difficulty, some challenge, some obstacle in life… especially if whatever we’re facing is a hardship, or causes pain and grief… that, “God never gives us more than we can handle?” You’ve heard that before? Have you said it?


IT’s A LIE!


The truth is God frequently gives us more than we can handle.


When we feel like our backs are against the wall, and there’s no way out… when we find ourselves in a situation that’s truly beyond our ability to manage… it may definitely be more than WE can handle… but it’s NEVER more than God can handle.


In fact, if you and I could competently handle every difficulty in this life, then the credit would go to US and not to the Lord. Difficult, impossible circumstances teach us an important lesson: to depend on God and not on ourselves.


Gideon was a reluctant warrior who felt inadequate for the task God called him to do: God had called Gideon to deliver Israel from Midianite oppression (Judges 6:14-16). But Gideon was a no-body… from the smallest tribe… the youngest in his own family, he held no power, no position, no authority. How in the world could a man like Gideon defeat Midian? Gideon doubted. He doubted himself, and he doubted God. He asked God for a “sign”...


Gideon says, “Lord, if You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You said, I will put a fleece of wool here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that You will deliver Israel by my strength, as You said.”


I love how compassionate, and understanding, and patient God is with us. Gideon was trying to make a deal with God. He doesn’t quite believe God will be true to his word, so He wanted a sign, confirmation, that God would do what He said He would do. And the Bible says the next morning, God gave Gideon his sign: the fleece was wet (soaking wet!) and the ground was dry as a bone!


And even when this "Doubting Thomas" of the OT asked for ANOTHER sign before he’d believe, asking the second time that the fleece be dry and the ground covered with dew, God graciously confirmed His power - a second time - to Gideon.


God was molding Gideon into a fully convinced man of faith... matching each doubt with reassurance. Reminding Gideon, and us today, that God is always faithful in keeping his promises. And when life brings us more than we can possibly handle, it’s never more than God can handle.


Now, to understand what Gideion was facing, you need to know this: The Midianites had amassed an army of over 100,000 men... and had terrorized God’s People (Israel) for seven years… raiding the crops and destroying everything in their path. Midian was strong, Gideon (and Israel) was weak.


But doesn’t God’s Word tell us that God chooses the weak to confound the mighty? (1 Cor. 1:27). Doesn’t God’s Word remind us that in our weaknesses we are strong? (2 Cor. 12:10).


In obedience, Gideon rallied 32,000 men to fight against Midian’s 100,000 man army! However, the Lord then whittled the army down to just three hundred men. Humanly speaking, it would be impossible to defeat the enemy army of over 100,000 men with so few. But that was precisely God’s point: God alone would achieve the victory and receive the glory. And when the moment was right... Gideon and his 300 men attacked. And they were victorious... The Medianites were routed, taken by surprise - and in the confusion, they began to fight each other... proving God’s Word, God’s promise, true.


Can you hear the message of Gideon’s story for us today? When you and I are faced with some impossible situation… when the odds are stacked against us… Gideon’s 300 man army reminds us, that “Salvation (deliverance) is from the Lord” (Psalm 37:39). And that, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).


God’s words are NOT just pious sounding platitudes rattled off to coddle our feelings and enable wishful thinking! God fully intends for each and every one of us to cast our anxieties and doubts (our fears) on these foundational truths, and to believe HIS words… by which we become “more than conquerors” no matter what we face in this life.


Now, listen… let’s bring this home. I don’t think it’s [hi-per-bow-lee] hyperbole in the least to say that what Jesus did on the cross is even GREATER than what God proved through Gideon. Because when Jesus faced with the insurmountable odds of overcoming God’s wrath due to the fallen, sinful nature of his creation, God accomplished through ONE man, what could NEVER be accomplished through 300! And, as scripture says, if God “did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things!?”


God certainly does give us more than we can handle. But he does so in order to “make us rely not on ourselves, but on God (2 Cor 1:9).


So when you’re facing the impossible… when God allows more than you can handle and the odds are against you, and you wonder how in the world God could possibly make anything “good” of the situation you’re going through (Romans 8:28)… remember Gideon… remember Jesus. And know that when God is giving us more than we can handle, he’s giving us the joy of experiencing his power to do what we cannot... “so that [our] faith might not rest in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God” (1 Cor 2:5). Amen.


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