Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
This week we wrapped up our “That’s What He Said” series with an expression most of us have either said or heard at least once in our lives. Can you guess what it is?
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
It’s said with the best of intentions, most of the time to comfort someone who is going through a struggle. A big problem with this expression is not how it’s said, but how it’s received. You see, the implied challenge with telling someone this is:
If God won’t give you more than you can handle, you shouldn’t be having such a hard time.
Because of this implication, this expression often deflates the very person we intend to comfort! But that’s not the only problem with this expression; the biggest flaw with the saying is that it’s not even in the Bible. It’s actually a gross misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.” (emphasis added)
As we can see from the repeated words, the context of this expression is actually about temptation. Paul is saying that even in the moments when we feel like we have no other choice but to give in to sin, there is always a way out. As far as sin goes, God won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can handle, but as far as life goes, it’s different. God will allow us to experience things that are beyond our threshold – and there is a reason for this.
God will often use the experiences that are too much for us to handle to get us to rely on Him, because it is only with His help that we can endure. You see, there’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed! It is when life is too much that we are in the perfect place to experience God.
Verses and quotes from the message:
Job 10:18-19; Jonah 1:3; Exodus 4:10-13; Psalm 12:1; Luke 22:43-44; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
“What we do with our pain—how we respond to it—matters. It’s one of the biggest questions we get to answer in this life.” Jamie Tworkowski, If You Feel Too Much
Big idea: When life is too much, you’re in the perfect place to experience God.
Alive – Hillsong Music
Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
Holy Spirit – Jesus Culture
Always – Kristian Stanfill