Not a Bible Verse: More Than You Can Handle

OK, this is an easy one. Is the phrase “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle” Biblical – or not?  Well, maybe it isn’t that easy, because you’re probably heard it SAID so many times it sounds like gospel! But if you were to Google it, you would very quickly see that this has been debunked so many times it isn’t funny!  And..well, your own life has probably told you that this isn’t true as well. We’ve probably all had experiences that, on our own, we just couldn’t handle. I’m not saying God gave those to us. I think most of the time we brought them on ourselves through bad choices, or other people make bad choices, because we have free will. So I want to look at this from two points of view:

  1. What exactly DOES God give us to handle? What does He burden us with, or allow us to be burdened with?
  2. What are we supposed to DO with our burdens.

So, for # 1, the burdens and circumstances God allows in our lives:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 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.

Matthew 23:1-4 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • God won’t let you be overcome with temptation, because He will always provide an escape. It’s up to us to choose that escape – and there is no promise that it will be easy. This verse is actually pretty close to the original quote, but there is a very important difference. It is not that we can handle the temptation, but that God has provided the solution.
  • Many times the things we see as burdens – the things we think we are supposed to do – are given to us by other people, not by God. Sometimes those other people are even our religious leaders; Jesus said the religious leaders in His day gave other people burdens that they themselves wouldn’t even bear!
  • Lastly, while we will have problems here on earth, we need to know that God is bigger than those problems. Just knowing that should be a source of peace.

Now, for #2, how God wants us to handle our burdens and circumstances: (and this is the good stuff)

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

  • God wants us to give Him our burdens. He “will never permit the righteous to be moved”. In other words, if we will give Him our burden, He won’t let it become a thing that shakes our faith or causes us to act unrighteously.
  • God wants to take our “heavy laden” burden and give us one that is light. He wants us to stop taking all the labor upon ourselves – because we can’t save ourselves – and instead find rest in Him.
  • God wants us to help each other with our burdens. Since that is what God does , (help us with our burdens), and since we are trying to be more like Him, of course we are meant to help each other.

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