Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle. You’ve heard it before, I’m sure. This statement is used often by many. Maybe you have said it to a hurting friend. Maybe someone has said it to you while you were dealing with something. It’s a nice little cliche, but it is truth or is it a lie?
Will God Not Give You More Than You Can Handle?
As nice as the statement is, you will… NOT find it in the Bible. Oh, but wait. That one passage says it, you say? Or does it? Let’s look at the often misquoted verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13:
You see, Brandon. It’s right there. God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Err, wait. That’s not what it says. Do you see it? It says that you will not be tempted beyond what you can bear. In other words, when you are tempted, there is always a way out of the temptation. This is not the same thing as the critically-acclaimed statement, God won’t give you more than you can handle.
A Lie From the Pits of Hell
Now, as extreme as the heading above is, I do believe it is accurate. Anyone who has actually dealt with hardship, stress, anxiety, etc., will readily admit that the things they were dealing with were too much for them to bear on their own. When we encounter things that bring us to our knees, we must look to the one who is powerful enough and able to make broken things new again.
Why is God won’t give you more than you can handle a lie from the pits of Hell? Let’s think about this together. If everything in life is not more than I can handle what does that mean? For one, it means that I can handle my tendency to sin. You see, if I can handle this tendency, I wouldn’t sin. Therefore, I don’t need a Savior. There’s no need for Jesus now because God won’t give me more than I can handle. Who needs a Savior? Not me, I got this.
Secondly, this cliche implies that hardships and suffering are inherently bad things. When we say that God won’t give you more than you can handle, we are ignoring a blatantly obvious truth from Scripture: suffering has purpose. Romans 5:3-5 says:
James emphatically agrees with Paul (James 1:2-4):
While none of us like to suffer, there seems to be more to it than meets the eye.
Many times I have heard someone share their testimony where they talked about some trial or hardship being pivotal in their journey of coming to God. Think about this in your own life. Maybe your story with God started with some kind of rock bottom experience. You were awakened to the reality that you couldn’t handle this thing called, life on your own. You realized that you needed God. You understood that your sin was great, yet His grace was greater! Maybe it took you hitting rock bottom before you looked up to your Creator and Savior.
When we think we can handle everything in our lives, we will not rely on God. Often times, I believe, God uses trials and hardships to awaken us to the reality that we need to rely on Him.
If you are dealing with stress, hardship, anxiety, depression, etc. take some time to be encouraged in God’s word by watching the message I shared with The Crossing about this very topic from Psalm 23:1-3a.