Too Much to Bear

The other day I heard the oft quoted cliche, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” I think it is another one of those quips that is meant to bring comfort and solace, and this phrase may indeed bring just that, however if you have ever taking a sense of solace in this phrase then you are resting in the wrong person.

I am not assenting to the truth of the statement. I think that this statement is false because Scripture teaches other wise. For example,

“8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

If that does not show you the falsehood of the pseudo-biblical claim above, maybe a few more examples from Scripture will help. Was Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice something beyond what he could “handle”? How about Gideon taking three hundred fighting men against the armies of Midian (Judges 7)? How about the disciples seeing the Lord of glory murdered? Of course, the Scriptures are full of God giving too much for people to handle (remember what happened to Job?). And the point of it all, just as it is today, is that we do not find comfort in ourselves and our abilities, but in the Almighty.

Does saying, “God never gives you more than you can handle” mean that you can get through whatever circumstances the Lord has given you? “I can do it, Lord. I know I can!” Is that the attitude of a humble and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17)? It may be offensive at first, but the next time someone tells you, “God never gives you more than you can handle” maybe you should say, “Yes, He does. And I will put my trust in Him.”

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28



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