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I recently went through one of the toughest times in my life. The sadness was overwhelming. Each day felt like a struggle. I was drowning. And then I’d hear the words:
“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
In fact, I hear this pretty often in Christian circles. Someone starts talking about a problem in their life and someone else (maybe even you or I) pats them on their shoulder and says, “Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
It sounds nice, doesn’t it? I mean, we serve a loving God who knows all of our weaknesses. He created us. He loves us.
He loves us too much to give us more than we can handle, right?
So why wasn’t I able to pull myself out of the pit of my sadness? Why couldn’t I handle what was given to me?
Because the statement “God won’t give you more than you can handle” is entirely wrong.
In our human thinking, we believe that if God loves us, He’ll protect us from hurt and pain. But it’s really just the opposite:
The truth is that God loves us so much that He absolutely will give us more than we can handle.
He wants us to grow closer to Him. He wants us to cling to Him like a life raft in a storm. He wants us to desperately seek His face, His will, and His Word every single day. He wants us to know that we can’t possibly do this life on our own.
Without God, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Did you catch that? Without God we can do nothing. There is nothing that we’re able to handle without Him. If we try to go it alone, we will fail and we will suffer.
God gives us more than we can handle so that we will realize the incredible depth and breadth of our need for Him.
I couldn’t pull myself out of the darkness I was feeling because I needed God to pull me out.
I needed (and continue to need) God.
As we realize this need, we are driven deeper into prayer, Bible study, and relationships for godly counsel.
Most importantly of all, we are driven deeper into our relationship with God.
In prayer, we find comfort. In His Word, we find solace. In His presence, we find peace.
So while it might seem nice on the surface to say that God won’t give us more than we can handle, I think it sounds much nicer to say:
In times of trial (and in all other times), we need only seek God. We will find rest in His presence (Matthew 11:28). We will find protection under His mighty wing (Psalm 91:4). God is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:1). He is our Savior and Redeemer.
God gives freely of Himself.
When you are dealing with more than you can handle on your own (meaning: every single moment of every single day), run into His open arms, there you will find everything you need.