You might be thinking there is a word missing in the title of this post.
Don’t people always say “God will never give us more than we can handle” ? Yes, they certainly do. However, that is a worldly belief, not a biblical one.
There is nowhere in the Bible where God says He won’t give us more than we can handle.
The confusion most likely originates from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says,”No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NIV) But this verse mentions temptations, not burdens.
In this verse, Paul is saying that we will never be ‘tempted’ beyond what we can stand up against in God’s strength, not that we will never feel burdened beyond what we can handle.
In fact, the past few weeks I’ve wondered if God was giving me more than I could handle, and I’ve felt very burdened – which is the reason I may have seemed a little quiet on my blog lately. But with so many concerns tugging at my heart and so many different people and loved ones needing my attention, it’s been hard to sit down and write! Not only because my time has been pressed, but my heart has been pressed as well.
But a few weeks ago, upon thinking about why there seemed to be so many burdens to carry, I began noticing that I was getting more and more hungry for more and more of God. As if exerting so much energy carrying my burdens had made me famished! Famished for God.
As a result, I’ve been waking up in the mornings, and the very first thing that keeps coming to mind is a desire to pray. I can’t help but pick up my devotion book and read through it before I do anything else, because I want to see if God has a nugget for me that morning. Maybe an answer to prayer or wisdom for the day. I’ve also been having a hard time turning off my Christian radio station, just in case God wants to speak to me through song.
You see, I’ve felt a little distant from God, due to so many distractions. It seemed He had been a little quiet lately too. So I began praying for new opportunities for closeness with Him. I longed for God to pour into me in fresh new ways. Yet, I had no idea what to do differently than the normal things I do every day.
But then one particular morning a couple weeks ago, I was feeling especially hungry — not for breakfast, but for God. So I bowed my head to pray, and asked Him what I needed to do. How I could feel closer to Him. How to feel better connected and in tune with His voice, even when life was noisy. Then I opened my daily devotional, and read this:
“I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs.” (Jesus Calling)
God is so faithful. I had just prayed about desiring to draw nearer to Him, and He already had the answer ready for me. I simply needed to be acutely aware throughout my day, and look for Him in the midst. Expect Him to be Present in my ordinary experiences in extraordinary ways.
The very next day’s devotion said this:
“TIME WITH ME cannot be rushed. Bring Me the sacrifice of your precious time.”
If I truly wanted to hear His voice loud and clear, and get reconnected, I needed to spend even more time with Him. Not the time I had to spare, but the time I didn’t have to spare. The time that was precious.
All too often, we think we don’t have time for God, and we begin to rely on our own strength and wisdom to handle life’s problems, gradually creating a chasm between us and God, and eventually plummeting us into a desperate state of despair. Instead of actively expecting God to step into our situations, we passively try to shoulder all the burdens, and eventually begin to feel weak and overwhelmed. We forget to seek God out in the big and the small situations.
We may even find ourselves questioning God about all that He is allowing us to endure, and wondering if just maybe He did give us more than we could handle. Friend, the truth is, He probably has. The old saying that says He won’t do that is merely a myth.
All throughout the Bible we read of regular people who were handed seemingly impossible burdens to bear but instead of trying to handle life on their own, they drew closer to God, fully relying on Him for direction and deliverance. We read stories of how God gave each individual more they could handle on their own and then filled them with strength and capability every step of the way.
Just like the characters in scripture, God longs for us to depend on Him when we are feeling overwhelmed with life and burdened by more than we can handle. He wants us to spend time with Him so we can be filled with what we need to get through each day.
In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
When our load seems too heavy to carry, it might be that God is not only waiting for us to recognize that we can’t handle it on our own, but also hoping that our desperation will build our spiritual appetite so much so that we wake up starving every morning.
No matter what life hands us, just know that God will never give us more than HE can handle. We can’t do it all, but He can.
And that is a fact.
I have been wondering ‘where you’ve been’ and I assumed you have been consumed with She Speaks ‘stuff’ so I’ve been praying for you!!! Thank you for always sharing your true heart, your transparency is truly a blessing. I feel like I know you and are having coffee together when I read your posts. I am so thankful God has you in my life (virtually, but connected spiritually:) Your posts really resonate with me because I’m either going through something similar or ‘have been there’ before and it’s just another way God shows his love for us – shining His light through others. Thank you for allowing God to use you for His glory
Thank you Deana! Your comment just lifted my spirits this morning and encouraged my heart! 🙂
Ditto to what Deana said 🙂
Thank you for your thoughts. The message really speaks to me today. God Bless You. 🙂
LOVED this post! My college-aged daughter & I talk about this topic quite frequently. It makes us tense up when we hear people say “God won’t give you more than you can handle”…. and you have voiced our thoughts in a wonderfully eloquent way! Thank you for taking time to write again… those of us who read your posts, miss you when you are absent!! 🙂
This post is nothing short than a word from God for me at just the right moment. I am struggling in a new job with a co-worker who is pleasant one minute
sorry hit the wrong button 🙂 Thank you for this post it is just what I needed at just the right time….God’s timeing is amazing! My struggles right now are more than I can handle, but somehow I am able to keep getting up each morning and get through my day. This is just the encouragement I needed to get through my afternoon. Praying God’s richest blessings, peace and strength on each person who is touched by this post.
Tracie, I remembered a post you wrote about this a while ago and I always reply, “oh yes He does give us more than we can handle, just never more than we can handle with Him!” He is an Awesome God! Amen!
I know the feeling. And I thank you for sharing so honestly. What a blessing. Yes, my life story includes many times when God has allowed things to happen that were beyond my ability to handle. With each one I learned I could depend on His faithfulness and love. This morning I woke and realized I needed to STOP and spend time with Him, because life was getting crazy and the only way to handle it is to draw near to the One who gives us life. Again, thank you for sharing this.
Wow! So needed this today. He always knows what is best, even though it may be so painful. Praise God He is my everything.
This is a wonderful post and soooo true…the last 2 years have been the most difficult of my life but since that fateful day when I realized my husband was having an affair and our marriage would not survive…I’ve felt closer than the Lord than I ever, ever have. My world totally and completely fell apart…but He was there to hold me up, and He has created in me the desire to know Him more and more. I could have NEVER handled it on my own…
God bless you and your family, whatever is going on with you right now. He is with you!
I have been so consumed with worrying about money. Trying to figure out how I can possibly keep going this way. My husband and I both have 2 jobs. Mine are both part time he has a full time and part time. We have 4 children from 18-7. Life wasn’t supposed to be this way until my husband lost his job due to company cut backs. Starting over with 4 children. I have to learn God will always provide with just enough. He always does. I have been pulling further away from HIM due to worry and 5 million things running through my head. Not focusing on what I should be focusing on and that’s HIM! Thank you. God bless you!
WOW, words of wisdom for sure.
Hello in warm blessing that that the day with rich outpouring of the Holy Spirit to joy and be give more of treasurer what we can handle and be thankful to God for his amazing wisdom and freedom in the Holy Spirit today and joy when somebody be saved from sin and be healed from sickness in Jesus name ,thanks and bless and pray,keijo sweden
Awesome! Thank you for this Tracie! As I first started reading it, I felt like you were definitely in my head! I have felt so overwhelmed lately, feeling like God was giving me more than I could handle. The truth is…He has been! But, thankfully, this weakness and inability to handle the issues that are swirling around me is drawing me closer and closer to Him! For WITH HIM I can handle it all…For when I am weak…He is strong!
I guess it depends on what “bear” looks like. I guess if you lived through it, you have borne it.
When people make the ‘normal’ comment, it makes me cringe. If God opens the door, I try to gently say He ‘allows’ more than we can handle so we’ll run to Him. I love it when He draws me close to Him during the hard times & I learn more of His Father’s heart toward me & the tender way He loves me!
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I have been in conversations lately with friends telling them that “God will not give us more than what we can bear” pertains to standing up against temptations. I love this article! I’m happy to share it on FB! Thanks!
Traci, this very day I was feeling overwhelmed and burdened down by so many things and I read this post about the issue I’m dealing with. I know God provides us with what we need just when we need it. These words from you have lifted my spirits. Actually as I was reading it…I simply smiled. I’m going through a divorce, lost a ministry I shared with my husband for 13 years, financial difficulty, betrayal and so much more. But I count it all JOY. Thank you for being a reassuring voice in the wilderness for me.