Everyone uses the following quote,
“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
People have said this for years but it does not align with the scripture they think it is does. The scripture reference comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13, and it relates to temptation, not the stress of life. Some will inform us that the Greek translation uses the same word for ‘test’, however, in my research I found the Hebrew to translate it only as temptation. The following verses discuss worshiping idols, so I think I am safe in my personal belief that these verses are relating to temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
“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.”
Stress is not temptation. Stress is an emotional strain or tension caused by adverse or demanding circumstances. It may be stressful to deal with temptation, but in my life, and I assume yours, stress is not always about temptation whatsoever.
So that brings me back to the quote, that God will never give me more than I can handle, and I am not keen on describing my Mighty God in this way. Allow me to offer my own quote.
“God will never leave nor forsake you when you encounter the stress of life and it is more than you can handle. God will sustain you through the stress of life circumstances until you reach the Promised Land.” –Lisa, the humble and meek
Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Nothing in this verse says God will never give you more than you can handle- it says He is already there when you arrive at that place! The Word tells us we do not have to fear when we get there, and we do not have to carry the stress.
Psalm 55:22 (ESV)
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
This particular verse reminds us to cast our burdens, or stresses (have to emphasize there will be multiple burdens), on the Lord and he will sustain us through them. In my belief, God has told us there will be burdens that can literally knock us down and suck the life from us, they will simply be too much for us to handle. Still, we do not have to worry because when all feels lost, the Lord will sustain us through it. His sustenance provides each of us the opportunity to carry on through the stress ‘life circumstances gives us’- which is most certainly more than we can bare alone at times.
To assume “God” will never give us more than we can handle expresses a limit that God simply does not have. When the Israelites were starving and thirsty in the desert, God provided sustenance for their survival. He was not watching from afar and hollering down, “you can handle this.. I would never give you more than you are capable of handling.”
No. God provided- not for one day, but for 40 years! Until the day the new generations stepped foot into the Promised Land, He provided.
Be blessed and confidant in believing your God will do the same for you- until the day you step foot in the Promised Land.