Hi guys! I have another question/slight rant?

Obviously 2020 has not been the prettiest of years. There has been disaster after disaster, tragedy after tragedy, and who knows what else 2021 will bring? But my contention doesn’t even come with all these problems, it’s rather the responses I’ve seen to these problems (which I shall lay out shortly)

#1: God will never give you anything more than you can handle
*apparently there is an actual Bible verse that says this!

I’ve always had a problem with this statement because it seems like a very passive stance. And in truth, there have been people where God apparently gave some people too much to handle since, I mean, look at all the people who commit suicide.

#2: Sending my thoughts and prayers
(This goes into my slight critique of prayer anyways but I digress)

When really has prayer “fixed” any major problem in our modern era, except maybe on a personal level? As far as I am aware, the only cure to cancer is an actual cure to cancer, not some well wishes…
There have been claims that prayer can magically heal someone but none of them have been verified.

Those have been the two things on my mind while stuck in a perpetual cycle of quarantine, so maybe I am becoming slightly cynical. I guess I’m tired.

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My cursory review finds the verse is that you will not be tempted more than you can handle. That is, you will not be enticed to sin more than you can resist. It is a grossly unfair statement to say you will not suffer more than you can handle, but we are reassured that despite suffering, God will never foresake us. Even Jesus cried out wondering why God the Father had foresaken him, but we indeed are reassured that we are not alone in our struggles. ( now that has me wondering, was Jesus indeed forsaken, or was he wrong in feeling that way? A topic for another post.)

As to the topic of prayer, I think whether it results in supernatural intervention is a good question. I allow for the possibility, but think it is rare. Most often, prayer changes our hearts. I think the danger in giving supernatural credit to God for such things as healing a person of cancer is that you blame God when healing does not occur. A secondary problem is that we also tend to make prayer transactional, and become like the Satan said of Job, he is only rightous because he has been blessed.

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You’re talking about 1 Corinthians 10:13.

This is how it reads in the ESV: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

As you can see, and as dear friend Phil pointed out, this verse is specifically about temptation. Essentially, when you are tempted, there’s always a way out, and you can always choose not to give into the temptation.

I believe that prayer can lead to real results.

That being said, we need to remember what James says.

James 2:14-17 reads, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

So you see, we are warned against mere well wishes and are encouraged to act. Nay, I dare say, we are commanded to act, if it is within our power to do so. This is why Jesus talks about doing to the least, and how doing to the least is the same as doing to Him.

Stay safe, my friend.

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Thanks for the good question. I hear that one a lot. I agree with @jpm and @Joshua_Wagner–it’s not in the Bible. In fact, Hebrews 11

. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground."

Indicates that by our ideas, a lot of folks received a lot more suffering than I would consider I can handle. I know Christians who have been killed and raped despite being faithful folks. Also, the quote

Psalm 37: 25I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

Is tremendously misleading. The writer said he has never seen the righteous forsaken, or their seed (children) begging for bread–yet, there are many, many Christians who have starved (not for their faith, either).

Regarding the prayer–I think it’s an acknowledgement that we need to do everything we can–and ask for more than we can do personally. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

We should always, as you say, do all we can to fix the problem.
@Joshua_Wagner already wrote on James. Our faith is dead if we don’t do the basics.
Good for you.

I am not saying the Bible says everything that needs to be said, but this seems to me to help the communication. It seems to me that it’s the Westerners, particularly the comfort and prosperity oriented folks, that think we can avoid discomfort. I was blessed to grow up in a desperately poor country (Niger; parents were missionaries) Sadly, I saw wonderful people searching and begging for food. My parents did what they could, but the lesson that the righteous don’t avoid suffering (and it has nothing to do with persecution) was clear.

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PS I am really sorry for the Covid stress.You seem to be channeling some of it, at least, into excellent questions! Thank you for the discussion.

It was more of a rant, but thanks for being willing to answer!

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It might be a good time to read the book of Job.

We’ve got a couple podcast episodes on the “efficacy” of prayer that you might enjoy:



(this one is an update that includes some of the first one also.)
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