“God won’t give you more than you can handle.” This statement is often given to encourage someone who is experiencing hardship, anguish or a time of sudden loss. People offer it with all the best intentions, but if one looks closely, they will soon discover the flaw with this line of thinking. This phrase connotes that God is the one who places burdens upon his people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet, when someone is experiencing tough times, it might not be long before the question “Why me God?” is lifted up. Don’t worry; God won’t give you more than you can handle.
Many believe this sentence comes from the Bible, when in reality it does not. Most likely, it found its way into our vocabulary through a misunderstanding of Paul’s speaking out about temptation. You can read the verse here. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
As the disciples fought the winds and waves on the Sea of Galilee, fear overcame their sensibilities. In their panic, they saw Jesus approaching upon the waters and thought him a ghost. Only when their Lord called to them and got in the boat did peace return. It is the same for us as we struggle against the powers of earthly life.
Sin brings doubt; doubt brings fear. Fear questions. Yet by faith, the children of God soon recognize that they are not alone. Through Jesus Christ, who is with us always, God saves his people and provides a way to endure. He doesn’t heap the burden upon us; he walks with us as we face such trials in faith.
Loving God, the burden is mine alone, yet you provide me with strength to endure through Christ the Lord. Amen.