There Is Nothing I Can't Handle - Chapel Message from Claybon Lea, Jr.
“Some things in life appear to be too much for us to handle,” Claybon Lea, Jr. said to students, faculty and staff of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary at chapel on September 22, 2011. “Losing a husband, a parent or child, physical illness, divorce, poverty, financial reversals – fill in the blank from your own life. Being a seminary student and a Christian does not make us immune from having to endure hardship. Some things just seem to be too much. But, as a child of God, there is nothing I can’t handle”
Lea is senior pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Fairfield and Suison City, California; president of the California State Baptist Convention, and an adjunct professor as well as Ph.D. student at Golden Gate Seminary.
Lea asked his listeners, “How has it been possible that there is nothing in your life that you have not yet been able to handle? By God’s grace, you have miraculously been able to handle it all. You have had the fortitude to push through.”
Referring to Philippians 4:10 Lea said, “God is with you and consequently there is nothing you can’t handle. In this passage, Paul reminds us, ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ How can Paul say this? How can we join Paul in declaring there is nothing I can’t handle?” asked Lea.
He explained to his listeners that Paul wrote, ‘I’ve learned to be content whatever the circumstances.’ Lea noted, “This is difficult to achieve, but contentment is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is learned over time. Paul learned contentment through a myriad of experiences. This contentment came not from himself, but from reliance on Jesus Christ.”
When we learn contentment, we learn to handle anything, Lea said. “Don’t allow things that happen to you to control you. There is nothing you can’t handle. Contentment comes from Christ, not from cars, cash, or creature comforts.”
Paul had learned to adjust, said Lea. He had developed the trait of being adaptable, of being able to handle things through Christ. “Paul uses contrasts to demonstrate that whichever way he found himself, he made adjustments: in plenty or want, well-fed or hungry, economic prosperity or poverty. When you know Christ, you face whatever comes and you learn to adjust. Because there’s nothing you can’t handle.”
Lea pointed out that Paul never suggested he relied on himself, but that he was totally dependent on Jesus. “Are you totally dependent on Christ?” Lea asked the seminarians. Quoting from Proverbs 3, Lea said “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Lea urged his listeners to learn how to lean on the Lord. “He will sustain you. He will give you strength you could never access on your own.”
Lea concluded by telling his listeners, “Jesus Christ gives us strength to handle what we never imagined we could handle – hardships, tragedies, sorrows, trials, setbacks – we can handle them through Christ because we can do everything through Him who gives us strength, just as God gave strength to his people throughout the scriptures.
“Next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself you have strength from the Lord. You don’t have to act like you’re always strong, you don’t have to act like you can handle everything – you can lean on the Lord. Rely on Jesus for strength, for contentment, and know there is nothing you can’t handle.”