A couple of times in the last few weeks I have either heard, or read, someone say that the Bible says “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
By the third time I heard that I needed to look it up because something didn’t sit right with me, since I knew there where many times in my life I had more than I could handle without Jesus.
I believe this is the verse this thought is coming from: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
Even in other translations it is talking about temptation not situations. When people “quote” that verse and use the word handle I think of situations such as illness, relationship issues, rebellious children, losing a job, etc. These are things that are done to us and that we don’t have a choice, they just happen.
I couldn’t handle being sexually abused. A child’s mind can not handle, or process, that invasion of body. For years I was under the delusion that I handled it and my way of handling it without Jesus was to nearly ruin my marriage.
I don’t believe God does give us more than we can handle but I believe He allows things to happen in our lives that are more than we can handle without Him. It’s when we reach that moment of crisis that we have a choice to turn to Him or turn away and it truly will be more than we can handle. If we turn to Him than He will take the burden for us.
Back to this verse though…it is talking about temptation. We do have a choice when it comes to being tempted we can either give in or take the way out that God provides. We never have to give into temptation, we have a choice.
However, if cutbacks are happening at your job and you’re fired you don’t have a choice, you lose your job. But the choice comes in how we handle that situation. Do we become angry at God and turn away, therefore becoming completely overwhelmed? Or do we rest in God’s goodness and know that He has a plan?
Or how about the family that keeps getting the cancer diagnosis? They overcome and then there is more, they overcome again, then there is more. Can they really handle that on their own? No. It is more than they can handle. They need Jesus!!
I believe God does allow us to have more than we can handle so we will turn to Him. So we will see our depravity and our weakness. Our complete and utter need for Him.
That is called crisis and so many people have come to know Him because they have had more than they can handle. I knew Jesus for nine years but it wasn’t until I had more than I could handle that went deeper with Him. I couldn’t do it on my own.
My point is this: the Bible never says God won’t give us more than we can handle. Things will happen to us that seem way beyond us and we can let God handle it or try to handle it ourselves.
We can’t handle most of what life throws at us and when we try to do it in our own strength we will end up tired and depressed. However, God will never leave us or forsake us so we don’t have to handle it on our own. We have a Savior who has already overcome whatever this world tries to throw at us. We just need to keep pressing in and resting in Him. Let Him handle every situation because God won’t give Himself more than He can handle 🙂