This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure page for more information.

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. 
Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle
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.Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

Author

10 Comments

  1. I just shared a devotional on this very subject at my infertility support group meeting last month. it continues to be something that I too am focusing on as I struggle with what God is bringing me through. thank you for the continued reminders that God is for me no matter what my circumstances look like.

    • Kristy, I always look forward to your comments and insights. This has been a tough subject for me as well over the last 8 or 9 months. I’m just so thankful that we don’t have to walk through hard times alone. It brings me comfort to know that God is strong enough to take on anything because I most definitely am not.

  2. Truth! I can’t stand when people say God won’t give us more than we can handle. What about Paul who fled for his life and escaped out of a window? What about John who was held in prison and (as many say) was boiled in oil? What about Stephen when he was stoned to death?

    The truth is that God will give us more than we can handle so we can look to Him during those times of difficulty!

    Thank you for speaking truth!

    • Yes! Those are some of the exact examples I think of! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  3. Bree, Amen! Your words are spot on! Your bravery to tackle such a topic will help many women who going through more than they can handle too.

    Sweet sister in Christ, I lift you up in prayer now. Just like God gave Moses two men to lift Moses’ arms during battle, I pray God will give you friends who will lift you up until this battle has passed. And, I pray the joy you feel when you write down the answers to your prayers (after this season is over) will far surpass all the pain you felt during the trials.

    Bless you, Erin
    http://www.burdenfreecaregiving.com

    • Erin, thank you so much for your kindness! Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Your prayer is felt deeply, and I thank you for it! Blessings to you, my friend!

  4. AMEN! This idea that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle is a pet-peeve of mine and I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I think people take I Corinthians 10:13 out of context when it says, “…He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”. That verse is talking about temptation and not life circumstances. If God only gave us what we could handle on our own, we wouldn’t seek Him…we would look for Him. God gives us more than we can handle ON OUR OWN to draw us to Him and so that He can show us how much He loves and cares for us. My husband passed away suddenly three months ago, leaving our 15-year-old daughter and I without a daddy or hubby. When I returned home from the hospital the day he died, God was here and has remained every day since. This situation is more than I can handle on my own, but I hear Him say regularly, “I’m going to take care of you.” And He has. I have never felt the presence or seen the provision of God like I have in the last three months. I keep singing the words of Chris Tomlin’s song, “Lord, I need you”.

    • Oh Annette, I’m so sorry for your loss. But I am so thankful for God’s love and provision, that you sense His presence, and that you’re leaning on Him as you walk through this incredibly difficult time. That song is beautiful and so incredibly true about how deeply we need God. Thank you for sharing your heartbreak and the solace you’ve found in our great God.

  5. I know people are well meaning when they say this, but it can be so dangerous, there are so many parents and caregivers that aren’t coping that are at the end of the rope and by dumping the responsibility back on them probably makes them feel really lonely. My Mum likes to say ‘worse things in life will happen’ I also hate that saying, more because every time she has said it, it has been at some of the most difficult and lowest points of my life. By constructively supporting someone and giving them practical help as well as uplifting spiritual verses to seek refuge in I think is so much more helpful and compassionate.

    • I agree, helping, sharing Scripture, and pointing one another back towards God during hard times are some of the best things we can do for each other. Thank you so much for sharing!

Write A Comment