God Enabling in Self-Disabling

In faith circles there are two popular sayings. “The Lord helps those who help themselves” and “God will never give you more than you can handle”. Both focus on self and our abilities. There is a vast difference between religious cliches and a living Savior, between our own supposed merits and the undeserved favor of God. While these statements make us feel good to quote, they reach as far as superficial difficulties and no more. The rock bottom of the darkest valleys and our own brokenness prove them wrong.

Rather than the Lord helping those who help themselves, He helps those who are helpless. We build entire systems of thought to avoid facing the reality of helplessness, it is the universal human experience. The remedy is not wishful thinking to an abstract symbol or vague Higher Power. A personal God reaches out in grace, through Jesus Christ, to those at an end of themselves. Freedom comes in surrender and giving up the illusion of our own performance. In addition, there are times God will allow more than we can handle. It could be said this is His usual way to draw us to Himself and enable us to grow. God will never give us more than He can handle, in us, through us, and for us.

A God of grace strengthens us in His wonderful Son, Jesus. We walk in joy as we daily submit our lives to Him.

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  1. Thank you for posting this. This is very true and needs to be said. It's so commonplace to hear these cliches which are somewhat trite and often inaccurate. God does help the helpless and those cannot help themselves. And our adversities are often more than we can handle on our own, which is precisely why we can't rely on our own strength but have to trust in him to see us through. This is the way that God gets the glory so that we can't claim we did it all on our own.


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