God Won’t Give Us More Than We Can Bear?

by Josh Fults

Have you ever had a dark night of the soul? Those periods in life where you feel as though you are about to break into a million pieces, and no matter how hard all the king’s horses and all the king’s men try, you will never be put back together? Sometimes, life is hard. The things that people go through are sometimes difficult to even hear. I spend roughly twenty-plus hours a week locked in a room with various people as they unpack their hurts, disappointments and wounds. At times, I shed a tear with them because I can empathize. Other times the hurt is too great for me to understand.

But no matter how hard life gets, “God will never put more on us than we can stand.” Really? Is that true? I hear this repeated so much in Christian circles. I think people mean it to be some sort of comfort to those with pain filled eyes and bleak circumstances. “God won’t put more on you than you can handle?” It really doesn’t sound that comforting. Many would say, “I can’t handle what is in my life now. What will a little more pressure do to me?”

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God won’t give you more than you can handle? Is that so? What if we told that to the 150,000-plus Christians that are martyred for their faith each year? God frequently allows more than we can handle into our lives. At times, God even invites more than can be handled into the lives of His followers. I am reminded of some advice Chuck Swindoll once gave, “Be ready for the breaking.” At times, God will break his followers and strip them down to nothing. What about Job? Remember what befell him? He lost everything. Every form of affliction touched his life, save for having his own life taken.

This Christian platitude comes from a twisting of I Corinthians 10:13, “And God is faithful;he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” The idea here is that God will never allow us to be presented with a temptation with no way out. In other words, just because we are tempted to do wrong does not mean we have to succumb to the temptation. There is nothing here that talks about the weight of the burdens a Christian must carry…


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