More than we can handle

I hear it often said that “God won’t give us more than we can handle.” I’m sure you’ve heard this expression as well. We hear it so often that we start to think it’s true, or at least it’s a verse somewhere in the Bible, right? But did you realize this is not actually in the Bible? This saying is actually taken out of context from a scripture (1 Corinthians 10:13) talking about temptation. It’s true that God won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you can take and will always provide a way to escape the temptation…. But that’s not saying anything about not allowing you to take on life circumstances beyond your ability to handle….

The Bible never promises us an easy life. Jesus Himself said we would be treated like He was treated and worse (Matthew 10:22, 2 Timothy 3:12). And there is a very real enemy out to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). So there are going to be trying times in our lives. I’ve been through a few, and I’m sure you have as well.

And sometimes people can start to blame God for their circumstances and throw a pity party and ask, why does a good God allow such bad things to happen? I offer this in return: Yes, we are in a broken world and bad things will happen as long as the devil rules the earth and until Jesus returns. But the good news is that God promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is our God and He will guide us until we die! (Psalm 48:14). He will uphold us with His righteous right hand! (Isaiah 41:10). While He doesn’t promise us an easy life (James 1:2, Psalm 34:19), He does promise that He will be there with us through it all guiding us, and showing us the way through it. Sometimes the challenges we face may have come straight from the devil himself meant to cause us harm and to derail us [sometimes our challenges are of our own making and consequences of our choices, sometimes just because the world is a broken imperfect place, and sometimes it’s truly a spiritual attack — we are in a war people (Ephesians 6:10-13, 2 Corinthians 10:4)], but instead if we lean into God, (here comes Romans 8:28), He will use it for our good, to strengthen us, to show us our need for total and desperate dependency on Him, to allow us to learn something that we can share and minister to others who are walking a similar path. The pain is only for a time, but if we push into God and lean on Him, He will get us through it and come out stronger on the other side of it. I know it’s not fun to walk the road of pain. Believe me, I’ve been through my share of low spots. But God is so faithful. He is only faithful and can be nothing but faithful. His faithfulness to me and my family is mind blowing to me sometimes and it only causes me to praise Him all the more loudly. To think of the ways the devil has tried to destroy us and tear us apart only to see the mighty hand of God steady us and bring us to better and better places. Sometimes it’s the low spots that help you appreciate the high places all the more. (Psalm 18:33, Proverbs 3:5-6).

Take courage today. While it’s not fun to realize that old saying we hear so often is actually false and that means we may actually be given more than we can handle, it just means we need to rely more fully on God to get us through and not on our own self. It’s hard as adults because we’ve become so self-sufficient that we don’t need anyone to do things for us — we can feed ourselves and get dressed and brush our own teeth now, so we’re fine right? We’ve grown up and we can and should do many things for ourselves. But our reliance upon God should never change. We need to become like children totally dependent upon Him. Why? Because He desires to be our father and take care of us. If we do everything for ourselves, what is there left for Him to do for us? We will miss out on all the good things (and perhaps better things) He wants to give us if we do it all in our own power. When God gives us good things (in my experience), it’s always better than I would have or could have done for myself. God is a good God and we don’t serve Him because He gives us things, we serve Him because we love Him — and because we love Him, God blesses us with good things and takes care of us. (Psalm 5:12, Psalm 34:17, Proverbs 10:6, 1 Peter 3:12).

And lastly, let’s look at Psalms 23. Psalms 23 is a picture of God wanting to take care of us. Leading us to good places that provides for our needs. Our cup runs over (that’s God’s goodness being poured on us so much that it spills over and can’t help but pour into those around us!), and goodness and mercy follows us all of our days and we will dwell with God forever. I encourage you to read through several times (and perhaps memorize) Psalms 23 this week. Begin to see God as your shepherd wanting to take care of you. He wants to bless us more than we can handle! We just have to turn towards Him and let Him do what only He can do.

Psalms 34:19 says that, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

You may be struggling today, but just know God is closer than you realize and will instantly be there to walk through this with you if you turn it over to him.

So for your journal, read through the verses from above (listed below for convenience), and journal about how God is speaking to you. I know I have a lot of verses today, so if needed, break them up into small chunks and work on it throughout the week.

Journal: How is God speaking to you through these verses? In what ways have you possibly held back and tried to do things in your own strength? In what ways can you surrender more to God and lean on Him during your situation?

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • Matthew 10:22
  • 2 Timothy 3:12
  • 1 Peter 5:8
  • Deuteronomy 31:6
  • Psalm 48:14
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • James 1:2
  • Psalm 34:19
  • Ephesians 6:10-13
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4
  • Romans 8:28
  • Psalm 18:33
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Psalm 5:12
  • Psalm 34:17
  • Proverbs 10:6
  • 1 Peter 3:12
  • Psalm 23

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