There are certain phrases that have seeped into our consciousness. Trite little sayings. Pithy clichés that have been repeated with such regularity that we just assume they are true, even Biblical. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, This too shall pass, and The eye is a window to the soul are just a few of the statements that are often mistaken for being straight out of the Bible. Many of these adages are harmless. They merely reflect a sincere and well-meaning individual’s lack of Biblical knowledge. However, there are other phantom scriptures, misquoted scriptures, and non-biblical concepts that are meant to be comforting but can actually do more harm than good. Case in point, the idea that God will never give you more than you can handle. You do realize that God never actually said that, right?
What we find in the Bible are individuals who felt that they were dealing with more than they could handle.
“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… (1 Cor. 1:8).”
“For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me (Psa. 38:4).”
“‘Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabacthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Mt. 27:46)?’”
Throughout scripture we encounter people who seem to be burdened beyond what they felt they could handle.
We often don’t have a choice when it comes to dealing with adversity. We don’t choose cancer. We don’t choose for our spouse to leave us for another. We don’t choose for our loved one to die. We can choose, however, to rely on God. When life deals us more than we can handle, we can rest in the reality that God is there (Heb. 13:5). Where is God when you feel that you are dealing with more than you can bear? He is with you (1 Pet. 5:7). Our Lord is intimately acquainted with suffering. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried… (Isa. 53:3-4).”
Isn’t is comforting to know that our Lord can relate? We serve a Savior who dealt with suffering on a level we could never imagine. He is acquainted with our grief. He shares in our sufferings. He knows the depths of our despair. Therefore, we can face our struggles with the comfort of knowing that we don’t face them alone.
If the idea that God will never give you more than you can handle is true then what does that say about God? Are we not blaming God for the burdens we bear? Is God behind my suffering? Did He give me cancer? Did He take my loved one from me? It’s our tendency to blame God for everything. However, God is not behind every trial, every heartache, or every burden. We live in a fallen world. Evil is present. The devil is working. Some individuals exercise their free-will in a manner that is ungodly. There are many reasons as to why we suffer. The finger can’t always be pointed at God. However, suffering can and should always point us back to God.
This isn’t about what God has given one to handle. This about handling the trials of life in a godly manner. The Biblical truth is that God is there when you feel that your burdens are more than you can bear.
If you are currently dealing with hurt in your life and it feels like more than you can bear, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to pray for you or try to assist you in any way. May the peace& comfort of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!