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God would never give you more than you can handle

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by Tylerx95, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    For most people the immediate reaction/temptation would be one or more of the following,
    - to feel abhorent shock and think badly of those who lay behind the deed, not just at the moment, but quite possibly allowing hatred and bitterness to grow within;
    - to wish to take revenge, in the name of "justice," though this feeling has not been particularly strong when the people killed were not personally known or related to me; this is also a claim to know what true justice is.
    - to ask "why did God allow this?" in effect challenging the sovreignty and providence of God, the grace of God, or his ability to know what is right or wrong, just or injust, and neglecting to realise that not one of us deserves even to be alive;
    - quite possibly to start identifying other people of the same ethnic group, religion, nationality or ideology as the "terrorists" and think suspiciously of them, taking out your anger and vengeful thinking on them - in thought, word and/or deed.
    - quite probably start to feel sorry for yourself and your tremendous loss. Or worse, to feel total panic and fear in the face of the future without your family, concentrating on your own loss and ignoring the (most likely) many others who were also affected by the attack.

    Most people would almost certainly not
    - actively love the enemy, as Jesus advised us to do, praying for God's blessing on them, and his deliverance of them from the evil in their hearts that caused this deed;
    -pray as Jesus did "forgive them - they don't know what they're doing;"
    - bless those that through this deed are trying to curse you;
    - start a deep search of what has caused these people to commit such desperate deeds, even to the extent of asking to what degree I have contributed directly or indirectly to the circumstances behind their actions.

    When we pray the Lord's prayer "forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors," there is a definitely different connotation from "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us." The latter can be thought of as the sins of commission; the former sins of omission - the things we should have done but didn't. Whenever we failed to do something we should have done - and even though we didn't actively do something bad, we have sinned. We have neglected to do what God wanted of us, as explained by Jesus - either in word or deed. So what people almost certainly do not do also rests on an underlying temptation - to ignore the Lord.

    On a personal note, I am not writing out of ignorance or according to "theory" and principle, but from personal experience. But then perhaps you are too? I am guilty on all the counts listed above.
     
  2. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it is not for me to know whether or not God would damn a particular person for suicide. If an organised church has argued that suicide is a crime always punishable by damnation, they are placing themselves in the seat of God. Jesus claimed that no one could take his life from him "I lay down my life myself, and I take it up again." On the cross, he "gave up his spirit." Was this suicide? I have never heard any serious theologian arguing so. (But then I haven't heard or read all the theologians in the world.) Having been on the edge myself, I will not condemn anyone suffering from deep depression or debilitation or incurable disease, for considering "ending it all."

    I don't know if you consider "suicide" as an escape. I realise that many people contemplating or even committing suicied see it as the only "way out." But what is it a way from? If it is an escape from facing the reprecussions of accepting responsibility for some action, or to claim heroic "honour" I doubt that it is what Paul means by God providing a means of coping. God is not much into this kind of escape. Yes he forgives our wronging him, and in so doing allows us to "escape" the punishment, but he does not somehow make the other real-life consequences disappear. He expects us to shoulder the responsibility to work for reconciliation, including restitution if needed, to repair and rebuild relationships with those we have wronged. And my own experience is that it is usually our own fear and hestitation of "what others might say or think" that gets in the way.

    Second, and in answer to your first question, I would indeed maintain that you would be hard put to show me a case of God giving someone more than they can handle. That is my (and Paul's) point. And if you could go through all the details of any one person committing suicide, (for example from shame, fear of reprisal, deep depression, or "honour" rather some kind of heroic action to save others) you would probably be able to see that there were potential ways out. But we don't know all the details, including where "the string of events and reactions" actually started. I do know that some of the times I have considered suicide it was specifically because I figured I was a total failure. There was not point going on, because neither I nor anybody else (I reasoned) believed I would every amount to anything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  3. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    Then you are not saying that the hardships are a result of temptation as I was under the impression you were saying. From your earlier post, I inferred that that was your position. Instead your position seems to be more in line with the idea that reaction to hardship is fraught with temptations. That position I can agree with the position I mistook you for having I cannot. although I will say that some hardships can be self induced by giving in to a temptation .
     
  4. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    I'll give 2 examples. Both surely are escaping consequences.

    First Henning von Tresckow. July 21, 1944. One could argue all of all of the things you seem to class as negative reasons. Being hung from a meathook is not a pleasant way to die. And he had cause to be depressed over his failure. But he also knew hundreds of others who would suffer the same fate if he lived and talked. He faked an attack on the Eastern Front, walked into no mans land and pulled the pin of a hand grenade he held to his head.

    Field Marshall Rommel it seems was given a choice. Suicide or having his wife and son die with him.
     
  5. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    This is the kind of thing I was referring to in my post....
    Jesus said "Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends." I do not consider this in the same class at all as suicide as an "escape." In a sense both cases were "self sacrifices." The only "escape" experienced in the Rommel case was that of his wife and son ... if indeed his enemies honoured their promise. I don't know the story, perhaps you do.

    Both of the cases you mention were of military men. Did these men have any qualms about becoming active participants in a war machine? One aspect of the question of God giving us chances to deal with temptations is how far back in a chain of events should we go to find the opportunities that we have had to avoid these situations, and chosen not to take them? Again, let me reiterate, I am not in the business of condemning either von Tresckov or Rommel. Rather, I am defending the position that God does give us opportunities to avoid "temptations" whether these are to commit to a life of (military) power, or living up to others' expectations, whatever.

    I know almost nothing of Henning von Tresckow, but the little of a summary nature that I have read leads me to believe he was a rather torn man, living out a family history of a proud nationalistic military traditions while at the same time aghast at the human rights abuses he saw committed by the Nazi authorities. He apparently almost resigned his commision but was dissuaded from doing so. All of which suggests that he did indeed know he had options but in retrospect (?) chose the "wrong" one. Again, it is not my place or intention to condemn or condone him, just to point out that he did have choices, that could have had very different consequences for himself.
     
  6. bekkilyn

    bekkilyn Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe that temptation and hardship are the same, so the verse concerning having a way out from temptation would not apply to many hardships. Also, I don't believe that God, in particular, is the one bestowing all of these hardships onto us in the first place, but he can certainly help us to get through them when they do happen.
     
  7. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Of course von Tresckow knew he had options. He chose the one that put him at risk because he felt standing back and allowing others to perish was perhaps the worst of all choices.

    By any chance did you see the film The Last Temptation of Christ and actually stop to think about what the point of it was? I know few Christians did, but perhaps you might have.
     
  8. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    No. I have not seen the film, nor read the book. The little I know of the story told here, it sounds more far fetched than the account given in the Bible.

    In the Bible Jesus' prayer in Gesthemane Garden is about avoiding, if possible, the full scope of the specific death that he foresaw. Personally I believe this was about much more than just a physical death by crucifixion, but something much deeper and wider that I think I would have a great deal of difficulty in describing and certainly could not describe fully. All of us die. Jesus knew that and lived with death around him. Westerners generally have a very different attitude to, and relationship with death than most people in less "developed" and older societies. I don't think "simple" physical death scared him particularly. He spoke frequently about his death with his disciples and it was his disciples who seem more apalled at the thought than he was. No, it was something more.

    Nor do I think this was his final temptation. He could have had several very powerful things to say to Caiaphas, to Annas, to Pilot, to Herod, but the closest record we have to his meetings with them indicate that he pretty much kept quiet and seemed more in control of the situation than any of them did. So much so that Pilate was amazed, and washed his hands of his death saying he found no reason to condemn him to death, even as he turned him over to his men to crucify him on behalf of the Jewish leaders ... to keep the peace and his job. Jesus could have ranted and raved at the soldiers who nailed him to the cross like the other two men did, instead he asked for their forgiveness; he could have replied to those who mocked him but he seemed simply to absorb it all. Instead, what he did was encourage the one criminal hanging beside him, and ask John to look after his mother. He didn't focus on himself. Ironically, you could say, he followed his own advice "Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me." His true agony seemed to revolve around the very sudden loss of his connexion with God, not through the process of his trial and crucifixion, but towards the very end.

    That he faced temptations there is no doubt. He was tempted in all the ways that you and I are tempted.
     
  9. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Yes it is clear you have not seen the film. I can't comment on the book. Every Christian review I read missed a very simple and common cinematographic device. A little girl would show up and there would briefly be no sound. This is obviously a marker of some kind and it did not take much to figure out it meant the start of a vision sent by Satan.

    I'm not saying the film was orthodox or without things that could be considered insults. But the core was that 'The Last Temptation' which was shown as such a vision was not power wealth or the rest. It was to simply have a wife and children, to just live in peace as an ordinary man. This was the temptation that the film (and I strongly suspect the book) said almost succeeded.

    Almost. Very very close, in the film the vision lasts until its logical conclusion that without Christ crucified and risen everything fell apart, at which point the vision fell apart and Christ is on the cross.

    Or one could say that once he saw the result otherwise he took up his cross.

    This came to mind because you speculated that teh men I mentioned probably had choices that would have allowed then to escape suicide.I would say yes they did, but only by dodging their duty or in Christian terms by failing to take up their cross.
     
  10. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

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    God's faith, is a little bit of pain, a little bit of a burn and a whole lot of word.

    Once the Holy Spirit takes over, its up to you to move, with Him.

    At the point that you have Jesus, because of this: you have almost everything.
     
  11. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I can understand this as a temptation, even today. In many cultures women are not considered grown, mature, women, until they have had a child. Even many women in the industrialised world experience a subtle but real pressure to "fulfill their function" as a woman and produce children. For the man, of course, the idea of a "normal" male is to have a wife and family to work for. There is even a biological drive (Dawkin's "selfish gene") pushing both man and woman to perpetuate the genetic line. Then we have socio-political and cultural pressures towards the ideal nuclear family, as seen in so many political debates, discussions on gay marriages, gay couples' rights to have or adopt children, and so on.

    Paul also mentioned the struggle that is entailed in marriage and family life. His concern on the one hand was that as soon as one obligations towards others (wife and children, plus the wider family) one cannot be totally available for "God's" work. At the same time, he told Timothy that leaders in the church should be those who can demonstrate their stability and correct understanding of the christian life through having a well functioning family and well-brought up children. Personally, I know that there are constant tensions in prioritisation within the family set-up as compared with the single life. The believer will no doubt say that it is of utmost importance that God himself has been involved in the decision of who and when to marry.

    What is "an ordinary man" or "ordinary woman" for that matter? Is this the non-existent "average" or median, is it culturally defined, is there a norm based on faith (or non-faith) and religion? Or is every person unique and no one to be thought of as "ordinary" but seen as special? But perhaps this is taking us from the main theme of the thread.
     
  12. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Yes that is an interesting question. Just what is an ordinary man. Or perhaps more in line with this thread to what degree is it OK to just stand back and not get involved?

    I had been thinking of one more person to ask about regarding the question of 'God giving you too much to handle'. Arthur Nebe. My argument assumes the position taken by this link is the accurate one:

    Arthur Nebe

    In short because of his position in the resistance he took the position of command of Einsatzgruppen - B. In that position he oversaw the murder of 10s or thousands but also saves 10s or thousands. In the end he was caught and executed by the Nazis.

    Or was it the end? The Wiki paints him as a devoted Nazi despite testimony to the contrary of those in the resistance.

    Arthur Nebe - Wikipedia

    So what of the man who must walk with evil to save others and then gets vilified for his actions?
     
  13. Monna

    Monna Well-Known Member

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    To some extent Christ would empathise. He was condemned by the religious rulers of his day for talking with "loose" women, Samaritans and Gentiles, for accepting invitations to dine with Roman collaborators (tax collectors), for touching lepers, for breaking the sabbath. And in the end he was associated with robbers and insurgents on the cross; in fact the accusation against him, as put to Pontius Pilate, was that he supported insurrection against Rome, (as well has his religious heresy). He seemed able to identify with all kinds of people, but had great difficulty with the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Sadducees and the "scribes" - the intelligensia if you like. A couple of thousands of infants were killed in the attempt to ensure that he was killed and could not be a threat to King Herod (I wonder if that ever played on his conscience). He was a refugee. He was considered illegitimate. Yet at 12 he was asking questions that challenged the most learned scholars (like many kids today do too).

    More directly, Paul wrote of him "he who knew no sin, became sin for us."
     
  14. DreamerOfTheHeart

    DreamerOfTheHeart Love is the Foundation of Truth

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    Going to church and being saved are completely different things.

    You equate them as the same thing?

    The body, the physical and spiritual body, that is the church. Churches can be good for fellowship, but many go to church thinking that merely going makes them saved. That is not the case.

    Why is this so? Because being saved means to be born again of the Spirit of God. Being truly born again means the Spirit everyday brings to your heart the teachings of Jesus.

    Many believe they are saved, and are not. They are unable to keep the teachings. So, they rely on artificial artifices instead, and a superficial layer. Generally, they end up teaching in key ways, teachings which contradict the teachings of Jesus.


    So, before I can even touch "God will not give you more then you can handle", I must address this far more disturbing view you appear to have.
     
  15. Tylerx95

    Tylerx95 Slightly newer member

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    I understand there are people that fail to utilize everything faith has to offer them.. These people are most likely going to church for the image. I have people like this in my family, and can assure you i don't intend to make the same mistakes if i choose to turn to God.. Its a tough choice to even start thinking about religion period
     
  16. DreamerOfTheHeart

    DreamerOfTheHeart Love is the Foundation of Truth

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    Ultimately, God chooses you, or not.

    I do believe the end game is to save everyone. But, that is not what the text seems to say.

    You can try and believe the message, and you can on first read... but sustaining that belief is impossible without the Spirit.

    Church... it can be good for some, depends on the church. I fellowship at work, play, online, everywhere.

    So, we don't.

    I play video games, read books, movies, music... have a successful career in computer security... hang with my family... but, then, do a lot of heavenly stuff. So do they.

    The regular world really feels way, way down below.

    Immortality and knowing vast and incredible secrets, as well as having amazing powers...

    My dad was relatively wealthy, I make good money in a great nation... but, Heaven blows all that away.

    However, you can't force belief. Just try, won't work.

    You might believe while reading it... but then, poof. Gone.


    Oh, and we don't have to drink blood literally for immortality.

    Like vampire myths make us out to do, lol.
     
  17. Liza B.

    Liza B. His grace is sufficient Supporter

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    Faith is not something you add to your life, like adding a colorful scarf to your outfit. It's not something you choose either.

    If it's real, it overwhelms you.

    It changes your life.

    Start praying for that, it's the only way it will be real for you. I have already prayed for you.
     
  18. Tylerx95

    Tylerx95 Slightly newer member

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    So basically what your saying is if everyone doesnt get chosen i shouldnt even waste the effort and instead just put a bullet in my head
     
  19. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Hebrews 11 is a great reference point: 'By faith...'; 'by faith...'; 'by faith...' :prayer:
     
  20. DreamerOfTheHeart

    DreamerOfTheHeart Love is the Foundation of Truth

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    I think you knew better then what you are letting on. I am merely stating Gospel 101 material.

    In evangelism you are sower of the seed. That parable is trivial to understand, and the explanation was given with it.

    Jesus further noted that 'many are called, few are chosen', and elaborates on how the Father must bring someone to him.

    What I am getting from you is that you believe you can force someone to believe by your own will, volition, by perhaps, your talents at elocution?

    That when you do make a believer, that this is your work, not the Father's work?

    Whatever the case, 'we speak because we believe', as Paul noted. But, pretending that all will believe when we speak does not do anyone good.

    These things said, the Spirit brings all these things to mind. I should not have to state these things, despite throwing in some dark humor... as the Spirit should be bringing these core principles to mind, to your heart.

    I would hazard a guess that is the case, but maybe my dark humor threw you off a bit, or something else. So, you are having difficulty grasping what I stated.
     
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