Friday, May 30, 2014

God Doesn't Give You More Than You Can Handle. Or Does He?

What is the common "Christianly" response we give people when they say that they are overwhelmed by life's hardships? I bet it's: "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." Naively, I have spoken these words several times with the intent to encourage. In retrospect, I may have caused confusion.

We have a family member going through a very tough time right now. She had heard that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," but as far as she is concerned, what she is dealing with is way more than she can handle. I agree with her. God does give us more than we can handle. Often, when things are going good, we forget to rely of God. As soon as a storm hits though, we refocus and cry out to God for help. It is in the moments of desperation that we see God's goodness. The Bible has never stated that God won't give you more than you can handle. He's given my family more than we can handle on several occasions. 

First Corinthians 10:13 says that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what can we bear without providing a way out. I think this verse gets misinterpreted which in turn causes people to doubt God's goodness and sovereignty. God is always in control and nothing surprises him. He allows us to make  our own choices and then deal with the consequences, but he is always there providing hope and direction. Being tempted is very different than dealing with life stresses. In temptation, you are always given the choice to say no. If however, you succumb to temptation there will be consequences which will most likely stress you out. That stress comes from our choices. Most stresses result from the decisions we make in life. Other stress comes from things we can't control. Death of a loved one, divorce, and job loss to name a few.  

Here's the beauty of the Lord. He's there, ready to carry your burdens no matter what caused the stress. He's saying to you at this very moment, come to me and I will give you rest. Sorrow lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning! Cast all your anxieties, worries, fears, and heart breaks on Him because he cares for you! He really cares for you! The sorrows you are experiencing are giving you an opportunity to declare your dependence on God. Ephesians 3:20-21 says that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. Even when you don't see a way out of your circumstances, there is hope! God can do more, but the contingency is that you have to ask. 

I leave you with the wise words of Paul in regards to handling our stresses. Distress that drives us to God turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets. And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. (2 Corinthians 7:10-12) 

Does God give us more than we can handle? Yes! But He never leaves us in the process. He is in control and we must trust him even when we don't understand. Do not lean on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. I promise! We can stand on the promises of God. 

Be encouraged in the sorrows because it is building your spiritual maturity and giving you an opportunity to put your trust in the One who never fails. Our God is able to meet all your needs according to his glorious riches! Trust in Him, Sisters.  He will bring you through and show you the purpose behind the pain. 

Until the whole world hears, 


  1. Emily,
    Once again, you blow me away with the wisdom God has given you, and With your ability to express it so beautifully!
    This is a very common misconception in the church today. I'm glad you wrote about it! I think as well meaning of this comment is, it really can't setup for failure when were hit with something bigger than ourselves! Thank you for teaching us that God gives us himself through all our trials! God's Word says His grace is sufficient for us!

    1. I'm sorry, this voice texting is very tricky! I meant to say, it can set up for failure.