I’m not a theologian. Never been to seminary. Just a girl who wants to have a deeper understanding of scripture.
When faced with grief, hard times, and just plain life – there’s one phrase shared in the Christian community that I detest.
“God won’t ever give you more than you can handle.”
I’m sure people mean well – not sure what to say when a friend is in the throes of seemingly insurmountable hardships.
But that phrase is actually not in scripture.
Yes, I Corinthians 10:13 does say God won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. However, it doesn’t say hardship. It says temptation. And in my opinion, the word temptation means temptation to sin.
Without ill intent, we alter scripture to make it seem like God doesn’t allow hardship we can’t endure.
Bible stories resound with God letting people experience tragedy, deprivation, poverty…the list goes on & on. Story after story it is HE who prevails them through the storms of life. Biblical stories actually don’t end well when people choose their own devices to make it through the hardships.
If God didn’t give you more than you could handle on your own, why would you ever need Him?
We realize our dependence on Him when we have nothing left of our own resources to make it through the next moment.
It is not of my own striving, my own accord, my own will that has helped me through the mountains of life.
When I realize my brain, my body, my heart cannot adequately meet the need in front of me is when I turn to Christ the most.
It’s as small as realizing I can’t go a day without yelling at my kids without the Holy Spirit giving me self-control of my mouth.
It’s as big as realizing I can’t forgive heart wounds from trauma without the supernatural gift of forgiveness from Christ.
Part of Christianity is accepting the limitations of my own self. Of being willing to say I wasn’t meant to walk life’s journey alone.
It is when I lean most heavily on Him that I thrive.
I’m not talking about thriving in the material sense of the word.
I’m talking about thriving in joy, peace, self control, contentedness.
As we are reminded in II Corinthians 12:9 –
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
In my translation…
Christ’s grace is sufficient for you, for His power is made perfect in your weakness.
When friends are facing hard times, instead of saying “God won’t give you more than you can handle”, we could instead encourage them that Christ will be the provider of what gets them through the journey.