Will God ever give me more than I can handle?

This week’s Sunday Series post has to do with something I have heard a number of times.  In case you have missed what these are about, I am doing a series of commonly misused Bible verses.  I keep getting more of them from readers.  If you have any to add, please pass them along.

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I have been around enough people to have heard other well meaning believers say that God will not give you more than you can handle.  But, where do you see that in Scripture?  There are a number of places where burden is talked about, but being in control of circumstances, or never at the end of self, is certainly not the Gospel.

Does this sound like the life of someone who never has more than he can handle?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

Or, how about this?

For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.-Romans 7:19

Where the confusion often comes in.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it. -1 Corinthians 10:13

This discussion about temptation and always seeing a way out has been misused to imply something more.  It is true that there are ways out of all temptation, but even that doesn’t come in your own strength.  God provides a way out, but people still need to choose to take it.

We do know that with God we are not consumed.  

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

That does not mean that bad things will never happen, just that the compassion and faithfulness of God are evident in them. In other words, there may be more than you can handle on your own, but since God is with you, things are going to be alright.

We know that Jesus wants to take our burdens

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Burdens and stresses are a part of our lives, but Jesus Christ wants to carry them for you.  Does that imply that we can handle it?  I think it implies that the burdens get to be far more than we can handle.  We need a Savior to take those burdens from us.

We struggle in His energy

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.  To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. – Colossians 1:28-29

If we were able to hand it all ourselves, why would we both to struggle in His energy?   We need the work of the Holy Spirit in us to handle all that comes our way.  Without him we burn out.

We know there is purpose in suffering and struggle

As I referred to in last week’s Sunday post, suffering is a part of the world we live in. It doesn’t mean God is distant or mean, it does illustrate our desperate need for Jesus Christ.

Does God gives us more than we can handle?

If everything could be accomplished in our strength, we would be less likely to call upon the Lord.  It is in those times when we are at a complete loss that we learn to lean on Him all the more.  Seeing our limitations only highlights how much we need God’s power in our lives.

 What do you think? What is a verse you would add to this list?  Is there something you would add to explain this better? 

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5 comments

  1. I believe that people use this type of statement to in some ways wash their hands of assisting … it is a version of the “you’ll be right mate” in Australia … in fact I believe we need to come along side of one another and stand together as a body and care … not just use the easy to say statement of “He never gives us something we cannot bear” … we need Christ and we need the body of Christ to walk … and to support when we stunble or can walk no more …

  2. I always say God doesn’t give more than WE can handle. He knows it’s going to get rough, but He never leaves us. He puts His arm around us, often shielding us from worse that could happen, and walks through it with us. He never said He wouldn’t give us more than we can bear. That implies that if we admit our circumstances are over our head, there is something wrong with us. I have a post started similar to this about our need to ‘stand strong’. Not! Anyway, save that for the post. Great job explaining this. Angie

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