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Christian Life

Does God Ever Ask Us to Do Things We Can’t Handle?

Sometimes God asks difficult things of us. God might ask a shy person to talk to someone they wouldn’t normally talk to. God may move your family from the church you grew up in to a new church. God may even ask us to move to a place where we don’t know anyone. We know everything God does is for the good of those who love Him, but sometimes the things He asks us to do are hard.

When it seems like God is asking me to do something that I don’t think I can handle, I turn to Matthew 4, beginning in verse 18. This section of Matthew describes the calling of Jesus’ first four disciples: Peter, Andrew, James and John.

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him (Matthew 4:18-20).

Jesus saw Peter and Andrew, told them to follow him and they dropped everything to follow after Him.

Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father; mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father; and followed Him (Matthew 4:21-22).

Again, as soon as Jesus calls to James and John they leave everything, even their father, to follow.

The thing that stands out to me the most in these verses however, is the word “immediately.” None of these four disciples hesitated. Peter and Andrew were in the middle of fishing–they had just cast a fishing net into the water. Jesus called them and they left their net in the water and went after Jesus. James and John were sitting in their boat with their dad fixing their nets. They didn’t even stop to think about what they were leaving behind; they just got up and followed Jesus.

These men left everything and everyone they’d ever known to go where Jesus was going. All they knew when they left their lives behind was that they wanted to be wherever Jesus was. They wanted to be part of whatever God was doing and nothing in their lives was more important than that.

Sometimes I still argue and drag my feet when God asks me to do something hard. Instead of dropping everything to follow God and see what He’s about to do, I whine and complain about the things He is asking me to leave behind.

It’s hard to follow God with the heart of a disciple. They didn’t know where they were going, but they followed Jesus anyway. They saw things that we may never see in our lifetimes, but imagine all the great miracles of God we could experience if we learn to follow God without hesitation and with the heart of a disciple.

Has there been a time when God asked you to do something hard in order to follow Him? What did you do?

Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me’  (Matthew 16:24).

Image: iStockphoto


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by CakeyPotter on April 21, 2012 at 16:38

    When time comes for me to decide on my college/uni, I will definitely reread this article– I’ll go where he leads me and not hesitate. Well, I’m not perfect… I’ll do my best not to hesitate 🙂

  2. sisterwhocares

    Posted by sisterwhocares on April 9, 2012 at 20:44

    My whole life has been filled with God-ordained change. This article is very encouraging to read. I also agree with Ginger who loves Jesus’s comment; God is always going to be with us in turmoil. He was with me when I moved to the 106th (not literally) church in over three years. He was with me when my parents got divorced, when my dad got a girlfriend and commited fornication with her. He was with me at summer camp last summer, where I received so much love from others that I am ready to give back. He is with me now as I am struggling to recover from my aunt’s recent death. Not only has he been with me, but my faith has grown stronger in him because of all of these changes. God bless you.

  3. Paris

    Posted by Paris on April 9, 2012 at 16:45

    Representing the lesson for the Senior class at my church used to be hard for me becasue I am extremely shy. When the intermediate and senior classes were seperate,(The intermediate class combined wiht us and we are just the senior class now),no one would do it,so I volunteered to do it everyday. The teacher gave me a 50 dollar Spa gift card for doing the lesson everyday!

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by abbiemeepcat15 on April 9, 2012 at 11:42

    This hit so close to home, literally. Today my parents just told us that we’re moving from CT to my grandparent’s old house in NC. I’ve lived in my house now for 12 years, and I’ve grown extremely close to so many friends at church. When my parents told me, I was devasted. :'( But reading this helped me to understand that God has us do certain things for a reason and that it’ll help us in the end. I just hope I can remember that!

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ginger_who_loves_Jesus on April 7, 2012 at 19:47

    I think God asks us to do tough things that he knows that WE can’t handle. He knows that if we trust in him with everything, that we can handle it. He never said that our lives would be easy, but he DID say that he would never leave us.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on April 7, 2012 at 12:16

    This is true. Its more important to follow God then worry about our own worldly desires. God will always lead us to the right place, no matter what. We need to, as His disciples, to follow and trust Him, as well as keeping a positive attitude while doing so. Great article, thank you!!! 🙂