Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

Is it true that God won’t give you more than you can handle?


QuestionIs it true that God won’t give you more than you can handle?

Answer:  The passage from the Bible you are referring to is often misquoted and, therefore, greatly misunderstood!People share those ideas from an earnest desire to comfort others who have suffered painful losses, such as the death of a loved one, the elimination of a job, an accident, or an illness. These particular scriptures teach about resisting temptation, and that it is always possible turn away from doing evil. 

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  I Corinthians 10:13

Do you see the similarity and how mentioning only part of the verse could cause error? 

The question is, does God allow more to come into your life than you can handle?  The answer is, yes! And for good reasons. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, let’s go back to the subject of temptations. 

Since some people mistakenly thought God might tempt them to do evil in order to test them in some way, God inspired James, the half brother of Jesus, to set the record straight: People are never tempted by God. The devil and his cohorts are the culprits who tempt, but they can’t be with all people at once, as God certainly is. Most of the time, people suffer from their own bad choices.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “God is tempting me! For God cannot be tempted by evil, not does He Himself tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  James 1:13-14

Now, for the answer you were seeking: Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God shields people, even Christians, from all trouble. In fact, Jesus warned His disciples that, while on earth, they would definitely face problems and hardships. Deaths, accidents, and illnesses are all common to being human and living in a world which is not a paradise. But paradise is promised to followers of Jesus Christ, or Christians, in the future. The Bible details many times in history that God did, indeed, choose to save His people from crises; however, it’s not in His plan for everyone all of the time. 

I have told you these things, so that in Me, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  Jesus in John 16:33

Importantly, the reasons God DOES allow trouble we cannot handle on our own is He wants us to ask Him for help and deliverance, depend on Him, and give Him the credit the scriptures call “giving God the glory”. He wants to use these times to draw us closer to Him so that He can envelop us in His Fatherly love and nurture the Father-child relationship. Does He always deliver us and solve the problems? The deliverance is sometimes “from” the crisis and at other times “through” these dark, deep valleys of life. 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rives, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…  Isaiah 43:2-3

Pray and ask God to give you the strength to follow His guidance through these hard days and possible more to come. His power is absolutely limitless, and He is definitely certainly willing to help you when you ask. He can give you His peace and His strength even during the most painful times of your life. 

Surely, I am with you always, even until the very end… Jesus in Matthew 28:20

Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness…  Isaiah 41:10 

God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and the mountains be thrown in to the sea…   Psalm 46:1-2

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