There is a common saying that “God will never give us more than we can handle.” It sounds nice, but is it true?
In life we will face challenges, some of which can be overwhelming. Loss of a job, financial problems, loss of a child, relationship problems, the list goes on. When we feel overwhelmed with difficult circumstances, it would be nice to think that God will never give us more than we can handle, but is that true?
Sometimes these problems are caused by our own faulty thinking. E.g. We spent too much money last month on the credit card and now this month can’t pay the bills. Another example might be a relationship that went sour because we used harsh judgement instead of love to deal with a situation. Sometimes we make mistakes and get ourselves into trouble. When this happens we can learn from the situation, make amends and move on.
But what about those times we find ourselves in an overwhelming situation that is not the result of our actions and totally outside of our control. Where is God at these times? Then someone comes along and suggests that God will never give us more than we can handle! Our first reaction is “REALLY? While I can’t handle this.”
In times like this, if we accept this statement, we are left with nothing more than hollow sentiments that do nothing to help us. We can even feel abandoned by God, because we can’t handle the situation.
“God will never give us more than we can handle”. Is that statement true? Is it based on scripture? If you take a look in the Bible, you will never find that statement or anything that would imply it. Take a look, it is not there.
Perhaps this is a misunderstanding of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10, verses 12-13 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.” It is clear that this scripture explicitly applies to temptation, not the circumstances we will face in life.
So where does that leave us when we feel overwhelmed with circumstances we can’t handle. The Bible is filled with many examples of people who faced extremely dangerous and adverse situations. In those circumstances they called on God and he brought them through it by his power, not mere human strength and will power. Think of Moses with the Red Sea on front of him and the Egyptian army behind him and no where to go. What about Esther, putting her life at risk, and then being used by God to thwart the attempted genocide of the Jewish peoples. The Bible is filled with numerous examples of people, who in their moment of despair, cried out to God and through his strength, wisdom and sometimes the supernatural, got them through their circumstances.
Consider James 1:2-4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
1 Peter 1:3-7 gives is a more accurate perspective at what God is doing in our lives. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.“
What can we learn from this;
- God sees our situation from an eternal perspective.
- Occasionally we will have our adverse circumstances removed, but more often we will be brought through the circumstances.
- We are to mature and use wisdom. When those times of trouble come, we are to depend on God and mature in our faith. He has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us.
You are not going through this alone. God is with you when you reach out to him and grow in your faith through the circumstances.
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Have a great week knowing you face your circumstances with his power, not your own.