Just today I saw one of those wonderfully spiritual memes with the caption: “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It was posted by a well-meaning Facebook friend who meant to uplift and encourage someone who was obviously going through a terribly hard time right now. Unfortunately, when I saw it I blurted out, “What a load of … Hogwash!”
The fact is, we have completely twisted the meaning of 1 Corinthians 10:13 that is specifically talking about temptations, thinking that it is a promise from God that He won’t have us face troubles we can’t handle. That’s a lie, plain and simple. He WILL allow us to go through hard times, and face temptations that we CAN’T HANDLE on our own! The promise found in that scripture is that in the midst of those trials HE will always be faithful and be with us.
Another terribly misinterpreted but often quoted verse is Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. I believe with all my heart that this is true, but not in the way you might think. The reality in life is that even those who “love God”, sometimes face immeasurable difficulties they must grapple with their entire lives. It is a lie to tell people who are believers that they will never face hardship, that all things will work together for good. It may be encouraging to think, but as long as we are residents of this sinful world, as John 16:33 tells us “…you (we) will have trouble.” It’s a given, we cannot escape trouble, but the promise lies in the next sentence: “I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” As believers we must have that eternal mind-set that we are on this earth for a blip of time, so our focus should always be on spending our eternity with God. Too bad we forget that when we just want to be saved from our worldly woes right now, this instant!
I know many of my readers have found encouragement reading the topical Bible Verses I have been posting regularly on my blog. They are indeed the most popular of my postings that receive thousands of hits daily because people are looking for encouragement from scripture to overcome grief, or stress, or deal with life in general.
But, I warn my readers to NOT merely read the individual verses and claim each of them as promises that stand alone on their own merit. To do so would definitely lead to misquoting and misinterpreting scripture. Think of it as mining for gold. The individual verses are merely the flecks splattered throughout the bedrock, the huge treasure is discovered when the whole mine is excavated. Make sense?
I came across an insightful article recently on how to properly interpret the Bible: https://bible.org/article/misquoting-god-verses-commonly-misunderstood-mischaracterized-or-maligned-part-i
“Misconstruing a passage neutralizes the Word of God. It robs Scripture of its authority and influence. The entire reason we go to the Bible in the first place—to get God’s truth and apply it to our lives—is thwarted when we ignore the context.10”
I couldn’t say that any better myself.
It has always been my hope that people who read my blog would come away encouraged, but it is equally important that my readers take each scripture verse and read it in context to properly interpret its message and meaning. To do otherwise would diminish the Word of God.