Are you being pushed to your breaking point? Past your ability to endure? But feel guilty because as a Christian, you should be stronger than this? Are you feeling condemned that you don’t have enough faith? Or you are failing as a believer? 

Paul felt that way too. He was pushed beyond his human capabilities, EVEN with the God of the universe dwelling inside. Paul, one of the greatest Apostles, was pushed past his power, his ability, and strength and felt he could not endure the suffering.

 2 Corinthians 1:8 We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.

Other translations say, 

“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength”
“beyond our power” or “above strength”

This clearly goes against the theory that God will never give us more than we can handle.

The most common comfort words passed around during someone’s most painful and heartbreaking situations. Meant to help, but it can bring guilt and condemnation because the storm can be so intense for some that they cannot bear and endure. And they may believe they are failing, or don’t have enough faith to be a Christian because they just can’t be as strong as others, or handle it right like others.

Another set of words Standers hear, “You don’t deserve this, God wants better for you. He would never ask you to suffer like this.”

Again, a theory created to bring comfort because the giver of those words is in emotions instead of the truth of the Word of God. But these words will help the hurting person rely on pride/self/escape instead of what the suffering is really meant to rely upon…..God!

Paul went on to say WHY.

Verse 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

Other translations:
we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God,
in order that we should not be trusting in ourselves, but in God,

But we suffered so that we would stop trusting ourselves and learn to trust God, who brings the dead back to life.

vs 10 On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,

Other Translations:
We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.
God saved us from the threat of death, and we are sure that he will do it again and again.

It’s a hard pill to swallow. God has allowed us to be in a place where we don’t feel WE can endure, it’s above our capability, our strength and our power, ALL because God is wanting to break us free from self and turn us to trusting and relying on HIM? All to help us gain confidence and trust in HIM?

This seems a bit selfish on His part right? Unfair right? But if we know anything about God, then we know He does what is best for us. We only have to take a look around at our fallen world to see that it’s this way BECAUSE man has relied on himself, man has leaned on his own power, own understanding,  his own strength, his own ability and that is exactly the open door that satan needs. He looks for those who have not been through the suffering that breaks our independence and he captures those that are self-motivated, self-captivated, self-righteous, and SELFISH. God is not selfish that He wants us to look like Him, act like Him, reflect Him. He is SAVING us from evil, from destruction, from those things that are NOT good for us.

Humans are very stubborn and the flesh won’t just die. Idols don’t just fall. We need to go through the fire, the pruning, the trials and tribulations that make us more like Him.

Do you see? The flesh is an enemy to God, which is why we are told to die to it daily.

We must come to a place where we let God be God in ALL our situations. He has to be able to have full freedom to do as He pleases according to HIS plan without you trying to stop Him because you deserve better, can’t handle the pain, or don’t understand. That is OUR selfish needs trying to make God change to fit our needs.

God is after SONS and DAUGHTERS who are willing to become like His Son. He is after breaking the flesh to help us become fully dependent and reflect the KINGDOM of God, not the enemy. God’s wisdom protects us, we must trust in His ways, even when we don’t understand it. He knows what He is doing, even when it’s incredibly painful.

One thing I learned, when I tried to understand and assume things on my own, it only caused me undo pain. But when I chose to keep this choice alive, I felt so much more peace.

“God, I know Your ways are HIGHER. Your ways are better, Your plans are BIGGER and for my good, and while I know this suffering is painful, sometimes beyond my ability, it’s all meant to remove things that are going to cause me too much pain and open doors for the enemy to mislead me into looking more like him than YOU. I know You do this so I will reflect Who YOU are, not who satan is. I know that You are GOOD and all that You allow, You do is to help me reflect goodness too. Help me let go of those things I keep feeling are too painful, too unfair. Help me let go of “I deserve better” and replace it with trust and confidence in You.” 
In Jesus’s name, Amen.” 

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger