“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
It’s one of those well loved and, in my opinion, overused, cliche phrases of Christianity.
When we think critically, this phrase can raise a lot of important questions. Where did this idea come from? Why does it sound so nice to our ears? Most importantly, is it even biblical?
I’ve come to the conclusion that this statement actually isn’t accurate. In fact, God does give us more than we can handle, and we have distorted His words into a phrase that goes against His character.
Broken down into three reasons, here’s why God will give you more than you can handle.
1. To show us we need Him.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all, as sinners, have a desperate need for Christ. The truth is, sometimes God puts us in situations that overwhelm us to show us how much we need His love, mercy, and grace.
When we are bogged down in our circumstances, we fail to realize that God uses trials to teach us lessons of faith. There are days when we might be laid flat on our backs at rock bottom. The beauty in that is that even then, we can look up and just see Jesus.
God gives us more than we can handle to help our stubborn hearts understand that without Him, we are nothing.
2. To show us His faithfulness.
God demonstrates His faithfulness in our lives when we are beyond what we can handle in our own strength. When we ask God for His help, He delights in sharing His strength with us.
He showed us the ultimate faithfulness when He went to Calvary and died on a cross as our substitute, taking the punishment we deserved.
He loved us so perfectly that He gave His everything for us. Why do we fear that He won’t help us through today?
Psalm 27:14 (NKJV): “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart.”
God gives us more than we can handle to demonstrate His dedication to His children.
3. Ultimately, He gets the glory.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul was explaining his health issue; the infamous “thorn in the flesh.” Three times, Paul asked God to take away this infirmity. God’s response was this.
“My grace is sufficient for you, For My strength is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).
Paul understood that through his human struggles, God showed Himself to be mighty. God works through our weakness, and in doing so receives the honor and glory He deserves.
God gives us more than we can handle to show us that He is God, and He is good.
So how can we respond to this, and apply it to our lives?
We can respond by acknowledging that how we view our circumstances and trials can change our entire view of life.
By giving God our struggles and admitting that we are minute nothingness without Him, He gives us the strength we need to get through the day, and He gets the praise. I won’t lie, it’s a hard thing for me to admit that I need Him. Truly. Yet, He’s teaching me more every day.
Have you seen these ideas affect your life? What might God want to teach you by giving you more than you can handle?
Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!
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THANK YOU FOR THIS! I’ve been struggling lately- and yes He definitely does give us more than we can handle because before it happens we tend to think we’re invincible, that we can handle anything. I’m starting to see I cant even pretend to have it all together anymore- especially not with God. Thanks for the reminders
This is so true! So, instead of asking God to take away our problems, we need to ask Him for the strength to learn and grow from the trials. Great!!
Love this post. What a great reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness! Even when our world is caving in, He is still there and He still has control. Amen!
Thanks for this article! I do have something I’m going through right now–I feel stressed and a little scared about it. If anyone here is reading my comment, could you please pray for me so I go through this problem with God’s strength? I would appreciate it.
Praying for you, for sure, @Explorer4lyfe:disqus 🙂
Absolutely I will pray for you. 🙂
Thank you. 🙂
Great article! I think you made some very good points, which seem confirmed somewhat by my own recent experience… 🙂 So yeah, it was helpful.
Thanks for writing.
AMEN! My goodness, thank you for writing this article. It is so true! Countless times I’ve seen in my own life that God does, in fact, give us much more than we can handle. But He does always promise to stay with us and bring us through, which is so reassuring. 😀
*the sound of my jaw dropping on the floor* This is beautifully written. Hands down one of my favorite articles on here:) Thanks Haylie!!
Thanks so much for writing, it was a perfectly timed article.
thank you, this is very encouraging.
This article really scared me when I saw it because that particular verse has gotten me through so much. Then I realized that it was talking about this phrase when taken out of context. We so often forget that this verse isn’t talking about hardship; it’s talking about temptation. Also, I think it also depends on the way you interpreted it. i took it to mean that God won’t let you go through hard temptation without helping you through it.
Did anybody else think this way?
Hey there, Joseph M! First, let me say that the last thing I wanted to do with this article was scare or discourage anyone. In my writing, I wasn’t thinking of this particular phrase in light of temptation. As far as temptation goes, the Bible is clear that God cannot tempt us, (James 1:13, 1 Corinthians 10:13) and that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Is that helpful? I hope you have a wonderful day 🙂 God bless!
This is such an awesome article! The points you cover are so helpful to remember for me right now. Nice job!!
Thanks so much for this!
Very well written, thank you my friend. 1 Cor. 10:13; No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And GOD is faithful; HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. Amen, Praise JESUS.
Evan where in the Bible does it actually say GOD doesn’t give us more than we can handle? I always thought this was just some old saying, not Scripture. TIA!
I agree it is just an ole sayin. Only thing I can come up with is the 1Cor. 10:13. How have you been BoHo, You are always on my mind, thinkin of you daily, peace my friend.
I’m fighting a bad case of depression actually, need prayers!
My prayers are goin out for you hun, stand strong soldier JESUS luvs you & so do I, peace my friend
Why are you depressed Boho?
11/13,hubby’s 50th bday, Thanksgiving-was the start of our yearly family 4day hunting tradition, 12/09 -anniversary, Christmas, Hubby grew up in home that didn’t celebrate bday & holidays, so they were a big thing for him. I just feel the internal ache I did when he first died and I’m fighting not to go into myself (the dark space)
Bet your sorry you asked,huh?
oh… but that is life aint it?
but i know you have to fight your devils yourself
gather the strength to fight it… dont ever go near
the dark places… it aint worth it at all
just keep yourself busy with stuffs
😉 you will do good I am sure
Hey! Thanks for writing this article! I just wanted to say, that as @evantrowbridge:disqus quoted, 1 Corinthians 10:13 is the place where many believers get the idea that God won’t give you more than you can take. “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” =)
Yup, you’re right. I was thinking of this phrase, not in light of temptation when I wrote the article. I’m sorry for any confusion! You can see more about that below in my reply to Joseph M. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂
You’re totally fine, thanks for writing the article! =)
I’m struggling. I can’t seem to get a handle on my sin. the worst of it is… I don’t even feel guilty anymore. I feel that when I ask for forgiveness it’s worthless and God don’t hear. Is it possible he has turned his back on me cause I sinned to much? Why do I feel like this? where is God??
I don’t know your name, @HisForever9:disqus, but I want to offer you truth. Honestly, in my own struggle with sin, I have discovered that other people’s testimony and honesty is what hits me the hardest. So I want to offer you my story, with all the messiness and failures and most of all, God’s strength in my weakness.
I have had a pornagraphy addiction for 5 years, and been battling it actively for two years. This, by far, is the largest and most dominating sin that I have dealt with in my spiritual journey. I have been in the deepest pit of despair that I will never overcome this sin within the last few months. For me, it goes in spurts. I’ve had conviction, whether by spiritual revelation or just plain old guilt (often the latter), and I’ll try to control the sin, the addiction. Maybe I’ll succeed for a month. More often, my ability to control the sin only lasts for a week or a few days. I’ll ask God for forgiveness, tell him that I will do better, and that this is just between him and me. Repeat pattern over, and over, and over again. For days. Weeks. Months. Years.
No one knew. No one ever discovered this secret sin that I was harboring.
Dear His Forever,
I truly do understand how you feel. It’s so hard when we don’t feel God’s forgiveness the way we expect we should. It’s hard when we don’t succeed against sin.
But, here’s the truth. God won the battle of your sin and paid the price for you once and for all on Calvary. He loves you. Truly, perfectly, and completely. He will never leave you.
I’m praying for you 🙂
Your sister in Christ,
I’m sorry you’ve been struggling lately! Just know that you really are “His forever”, and that he will never turn His back on you. He’s simply waiting for you to call on Him. As Joshua 1:5 says, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you”. If you recall, God led Moses with a cloud by day and fire at night, so that He would always be visibly there for Moses. God doesn’t want you to continue in your sin, that’s true, but he won’t leave you in it either. He wants to rescue you! No matter how wrong your sin is, no matter how much you’ve done it, God will forgive it! It says in Luke 22:23-24: “When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'” Jesus forgave the Romans who crucified Him! How much more would he forgive you?
His Forever, I’m sorry that you are struggling with your sin, and I will be praying that you get it under control. But know that God will always be there, waiting to welcome you. He will never leave you nor forsake you; it says so at least four times in those exact words (Hebrews 3:5, Joshua 1:5, Deuteronomy 31:8, Deuteronomy 31:6).
In addition, I found this verse I thought I’d share. It’s Psalm 18:19: “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” He will always love you, never forsake you (as I said earlier.) However, you may have read this next verse (Psalm 18:20) and gotten discouraged again: “The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.” You may be thinking “what clean hands? what righteousness?” Now I’m not here to discourage you or tell you how big of a sinner you are; we are all sinners and pretty good at it, too. But that doesn’t mean that we should continue in it.
So to answer what you might be thinking, look at this verse: “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” This is glorious news; our sin has been removed forever from us – for there is no boundary between east and west. I hope that you conquer your sin, and know that God will always love you no matter what you do.
Hey candy corn man! How have you been doing lately? Are you having a good start to your new year? sorry to find you on this old post, but I thought that if I was gonna spam a post, it might as well be my own 😉
I ate a piece of candy corn today and was like, “hmm, I wonder what Sam’s up too?” Heheh. I’m glad to hear it’s going pretty good. Better than pretty bad, right? Well, I’m doing alright. I’ll cheat and go with the same answer you gave me 😉
*sheepish grin* Haha, it’s too convenient. I’m still praying for you as God brings you to mind.
What sounds like what’s wrong? And thanks bro, I really do appreciate it 🙂
Ah… Well, if you wouldn’t mind, an extra prayer would be appreciated 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Very nice post; great encouragement. I agree with what you said, but there’s a very fine line on this topic. Anyway, this was very encouraging; thanks for the post, Haylie.
Hey Sam! I dont know if you’ll see this or not…but anyway, I haven’t been able to get on Revive all day. It keeps flashing “Error” every time I try. Granted, I do live in Africa so something may have changed this side and I jsut can’t access the website or something…but anyway, I just thought I’d ask you if you knew about some issue or if you intentionally have it inaccessible. =) Thank ya! =D
Sorry..when I say flashing I mean it just keeps saying that when I try to open the tab. Lol! Wrong wording choice there. My bad. And haha! I won’t send you a screenshot. ;D I’m SO SO sorry that I’m the 4th person to say something to you. =P I’m sure that’s rather stressful…. !! I’m sure you have a bajillion other things on your plate, so don’t stress about it!
@a_haylie:disqus, I’m glad you showed me this today. I really needed to know this right now.
I am so glad it encouraged you, @disqus_I0CVhoqWL2:disqus Blessings!
Wow, another great article and, just like Matthew, I only came across it since I saw one of your other posts @a_haylie:disqus! This is such an important concept that you wrote about — when we’re not feeling overwhelmed, we don’t feel a need to depend on God and go to Him for things. It’s exactly this tension that draws us to Him in continual prayer. Keep working hard Alathia!
Thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging words, Christos 🙂
Hey @a_haylie:disqus, I posted part of this article on my blog, which is a part of my online school’s forums, with a link to this article of course. In a brief span of time, I received a comment, and I wanted to know how you would address it. “Nah. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. God doesn’t give us more than He can handle.”
Sorry, I don’t know why the tag didn’t work.
Hmmmm… *taps fingers on desk* I really wouldn’t address it any differently than in the article. If you want to, maybe point him to 2 Corinthians 12:9, and graciously ask how God’s strength can be made perfect in our weakness if He doesn’t give us more than we can handle without Him? And as others have pointed out in the comments, I do believe that God doesn’t and can’t tempt us to sin (1 Cor. 10:13), and that may be the thought process of your commenter. Anyways, thank you for sharing my article! I hope that helps a bit 🙂