Through the Fire

Nowhere in the Bible does it say God will not give you more than you can handle. It's a common phrase we frequently hear and I heard it said when my husband was sick. We've all heard it so many times we may assume it is in there somewhere, but it's not. It also doesn't say bad things only happen to those who deserve them. Yes, I am saying that with a straight face. You wouldn't believe how many times the phrase was uttered to us. "Of all the people who don't deserve something like this is, it is you guys!" I knew they meant well and I understood the sentiment. But when you think about it is there really a segment of our society who "deserves" all the bad stuff in life while the rest of us sit back and marvel at the fact our lives are just as they should be? Of course not. The truth is some people carry loads that are way more than they can handle and yes they don't deserve it any more than the person next to them does. God never promised us our lives would be easy. In fact He actually promised us they would not.

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. John 16:33

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

Notice God didn't say "if" you walk through the fire, He said "when" you walk through the fire.

Recently God brought to mind the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I am sure you all remember the story of these three mighty men who refused to bow to other gods and were subsequently thrown into the fire. God, in His power, could have miraculously kept them from ever being thrown into the fire in the first place. He did not. Instead, He was with them in the fire and ultimately He delivered them from the fire. In the end you have a powerful story of men who walked into the fire but were not burned. Their story wouldn't have been nearly as powerful had God rescued them before they were ever thrown in the fire. Can you imagine their boldness after being delivered from the fire? Seeing God in action up close and personal must have given them complete confidence He would deliver them through anything they might ever face. Imagine how their confidence could inspire the confidence of others around them, and around them, and around them.

That's why in John 16 right after God talks about trouble He immediately tells us to really concentrate on the fact that He has overcome our troubles. It's not that God won't put anything on us we can't handle. The real truth is God won't put anything on us He can't handle. He already has the victory over every situation we will walk through.

How different could our lives be if we stopped asking Him to deliver us from every fire and started asking Him to walk with us and refine us through the fire?

We went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:12