Well, let me ask you this? Have you ever lost a loved one, or been diagnosed with cancer? Have you ever lost your job and didn't know where food was going to come from? Have you ever lost a child, a spouse, or a parent? Have you ever been raped, abused, neglected or abandoned? Did you accidentally cause harm to someone else? Were you born blind, deaf, or with a learning disorder? I could go on, but you get the point. I'm sure everyone can answer yes to one of these questions. One last question, "Was it too much to bear?"
You see the Bible tells us the opposite. Jesus says you will find trouble in this world; you will have pain, tears, and heartache. It WILL be too much to bear. And that's where the Lord says, but come to me. Matthew 11:28 says, 'Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."'
I've posted a picture of Jesus carrying His cross. In this picture from the Bible series, you see Jesus and Simon of Cyrene. Luke 23:26 gives us this picture, "As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus." Did Jesus suffer to the point that is was too much to bear. He sure did! Physically and spiritually, he leaned on God the Father to get him through. Jesus couldn't even carry the cross anymore because He was in so much pain. But God provided another person to help bear the burden. Has anyone come alongside you to bear your burden with you? Galatians 6:2 says, 'Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.'
Remember Jesus is God. He knew what was to come at the cross. Let's take a step back to the night before the crucifixion. Jesus was with the disciples in Gethsemane and he asked them to stay awake and pray. This is Jesus' prayer to God the Father, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39). Do you think that the thought of the cross was too much to bear? Absolutely! See here in verse 38, He says, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death." Luke 22:44 goes further to say, 'And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.' Jesus was to suffer and He knew what was about to happen. He even asked the Father if it is possible to take it away! Oh the humanity of Christ in this moment. Have you ever begged God to take away your suffering? I certainly have! You see, here's where we learn from Christ. In the latter part of his prayer, He says, "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Jesus walked the path of suffering because He LOVED YOU and me so much! And He wanted YOU and me to have eternal life in His name.
You WILL suffer and it WILL be too much to bear. But you can turn your heart and soul over to God and He will give you rest. In the midst of your pain and suffering and anguish, He can and wants to give you peace. If only you will receive it from Him. Remember, as Jesus said, "Not as I will, but your will Father."
Did God send Jesus, His one and only Son, to suffer? Yes. But this was the cost for your soul. Did you ever wonder why you suffer? Have you ever thought that it was for someone else's soul or maybe for your own? ...that through your suffering, Christ would be glorified in your life, and you or someone will come to know Him and live forever. You see, it's about the LOVE that God has for us. It's about the LOVE that He has for your neighbor, friend, or loved one and YOU!
Does God cause all suffering? No. We live in a broken world where sin has entered. We live in a selfish world. We live in an evil world. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul even goes to say that Satan is the god of this age.
So where is the hope? The hope is IN CHRIST ALONE!
This is a verse that I used a couple blogs ago, but I would like to reiterate it here:
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33
So the point is, there will be times when you suffer beyond comprehension, but you can lean on God for comfort and healing. The suffering is unbearable without Christ. Therefore, you can only bear it by casting your burdens on Christ. Because his yoke is easy and the burden light.
Without God it is unbearable, with Christ it is bearable.
For those of you who want more biblical evidence of the false statement, "God won't give you more than you can bear," let me show you where this all went wrong.
'No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.'
1 Corinthians 10:13
Do you see how it can be misconstrued? What Paul is talking about is simply temptation to sin. He is not talking about suffering. Many Christians suffer, and it has nothing to do with sin. Let me explain Biblically:
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." John 9:1-3