Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Living a Fulfilling Life
How many of you have heard this statement before? “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.” Understanding this statement and its validity can either ruin your perspective about what it means to live a fulfilling life or it can be a precursor to truly understanding how a person can actually achieve a fulfilling life. This statement has flooded the minds of many Christians and non-Christians alike. Some rely on this as a comforting truth that gives them peace throughout their days. But, can we rely on this? Is it true? Is this part of God’s plan for living a fulfilling life or is it part of the enemy’s plan to deceive us? Let’s take a look.
Before diving in, let’s take a look at the verse in Scripture which this statement is derived from. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB) states, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” What is this verse really saying? Note how many times the word temptation is used. The apostle Paul is referring strictly to temptation. When we are tempted, God always provides a way out, so that we can never say that the urge to sin was too great for us to endure. So we know that God will help us resist temptation, but what about the actual circumstances we encounter during the course of our lives? Does this verse in Scripture speak to that?
Let’s take it one step further. John 16:33 (NIV) states, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” These are the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Jesus makes a promise here that in this world, we will have trouble. He doesn’t say maybe you will; He says you will! But notice what He says next, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is important to look at what He says in context. Why should we take heart? Because HE has overcome the world. Was it by accident that He DID NOT say because YOU can overcome the world? No! He is making a point here!
Simply put, we have hope because Christ has overcome the world for us! God didn’t send His Son to save us for nothing! He sent His only Son because we can’t save ourselves. We need a Savior, Someone to overcome and conquer what we CANNOT handle on our own! Praise be to God and our Lord, Jesus Christ for being that Savior!
One of Satan’s greatest weapons is to deceive us into believing that WE can conquer anything in life. Satan doesn’t care what we believe in. All Satan wants is for us NOT to believe in Christ and to put our faith in ANYTHING but Christ! John 10:10 (NIV) states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Satan wants to steal your salvation, your joy, your hope, your soul; he wants to kill your spirit; he wants to destroy your life and your relationship with Jesus. We cannot let that happen! No! We must stand firm in Christ, even in the face of adversity, so that we may be saved (Matthew 10:22)!
Friends, brothers, and sisters, I want you to understand something. There is much in this life that we cannot handle. We experience pain, trials, challenges, and obstacles that could knock anyone off their feet. As for anyone who believes otherwise, please feel free to comment about your perfect lives and in the midst of describing it, your very lack of humility shows that you cannot even humbly accept the amazing grace that God freely gives you. It is God’s GRACE that gets us through those things, grace that we take for granted because we often don’t even know it’s there! James 1:17 (NASB) states, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Yes, that’s right! EVERYTHING GOOD comes from God, the Father in heaven. Don’t think for one second that YOU have the strength to handle everything that you encounter in this life. Even those who do not believe receive God’s grace anyway (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)! Scripture is filled with examples about how God’s grace saved people from circumstances that they could not handle.
To truly live a fulfilling life, we must learn to put our faith and trust in Jesus! When life becomes too much to bear, simply know that Christ is there for you and although He may not reveal His plan for you in that very moment in time, He WILL reveal His plan for you in His time! He WILL bring you through if only you will wait on Him! He WILL give you peace! He WILL wipe away all your tears and eliminate death, mourning, crying, and all your pain (Revelation 21:4)! He WILL use your pain to make you into something greater than you can imagine! Praise God for loving us THIS much!
Take heart! Know that God does not give you anything that He can’t handle for you! All you have to do is LET Him! Let Him make you into a new creation! He promises that He will (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-4, NASB)
· Have you ever made a decision that you regretted making? How has your life changed since you made that decision?
· Can you think of an event or person that helped you through a bad time?
· Talk about a time when you made a decision to let God handle your problem.
· Take the time to read Hebrews 11 to learn about those who were given things that they could not handle on their own without putting their full faith and trust in God.
· The next time you encounter a trial in life (big or small), remind yourself that God is with you. Try to find peace in knowing that His grace is sufficient and that He will raise you up.
· Take some time to jot down some of the things that currently exist in your life that give you great joy. These are the best examples of God’s grace and can be used as great reminders when you experience great pain. Carry the list with you in your wallet or purse wherever you go.