As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, it’s quite encouraging to think that God “will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Even though we may sometimes feel crushed by life’s challenges, there’s always a way out. Nothing is too tough, or too hard for us to overcome! No trial or temptation is beyond us, because God never gives us more than we can handle!

Except, sometimes He does.

In another letter, to the same church, Paul writes, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure.” How could the same author, writing to the same church, and say something so completely opposite of what he had said in his first letter? This question puzzled me as I wondered the very same thing.

Of course, I believe that every scripture has a purpose and meaning from God, (II Peter 1:20-21) and I don’t believe the Bible ever contradicts itself. Sometimes the things that seem to contradict just require a little more study in order to see how they make sense. And in the end, they always do!

So I thought about these two seemingly contradictory statements, and it struck me as I read a little further. Paul says, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” It finally hit me: God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, as long as we rely on Him. But if we stop relying on God, our lives would absolutely become “beyond what we can bear!”

Therefore we must ask ourselves — when we are feeling crushed by life — are we relying on God to get us through, or are we trying chew on too much ourselves. By ourselves, our lives are too much for us to chew! We can’t do it without God. Secondly, though, we must ask ourselves, “If we can’t handle life without God, what can we handle with God?”

Paul would later write, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Essentially, there’s nothing we can’t do with God! Let us therefore be those who do not fail in the face of challenges because we fail to rely on God; but instead, let’s be those who are able to accomplish anything through Him who gives us strength!

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