It’s often been said that God won’t put more on us than we are able to bear. While the people who make this statement generally do so because they’re trying to encourage someone to keep the faith in the face of adversity, it’s not actually a sound theological statement. What does the Bible say about God allowing us to be pushed beyond our limits? Discover the answer to that question and where people get the idea that God won’t push us beyond our limits here.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
This verse is generally what people are referencing when they tell others, especially those that are facing seasons of adversity, that God won’t “put more on them than they can bear.” While the people who throw that verbiage around are genuinely trying to be helpful, the statement itself simply is not Scriptural.
Angel Wings for Adult Costume with Halo Headband, Toffos White Feather Fairy Wings for Women, Girls
This verse doesn’t say that God won’t allow us to face more than we can handle on our own. Instead, it declares that God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we can bear. There is a significant difference between temptation and adversity. The promise that Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church was that God would not leave them without any hope of escape when they were tempted to do wrong. That means that when we sin, we cannot say, “The devil made me do it.” Instead, God will provide a way of escape for us, which means that we don’t have to give into sin.
While that statement is good news, it does mean that the Bible, at least in this passage, doesn’t say that God won’t put more on us that we can handle. No matter how much time you spend looking through the rest of the Bible, you will never find that promise. That’s because God will allow us to face things that are beyond what we can handle.
Does that statement alarm you? Does the idea of a good, loving God allowing you to deal with things that are bigger than you and stronger than you can handle rattle your faith? If so, it shouldn’t. God will allow us to face things that are bigger than us, but that does nothing to diminish His goodness. God will allow us to face seasons of adversity that leave us feeling like we can’t possibly rise to the challenge, but that does nothing to lessen His faithfulness.
God allowing us to face things that are too hard for us doesn’t mean that we have to face them alone. Today, discover more about God’s faithfulness and goodness, even if He allows you to face more than you can handle.
FINPAC Bible Cover, Carrying Book Case Church Bag Bible Protective with Handle and Zippered Pocket,
The Story of Job
You may have heard people say that they need the “patience of Job.” However, Job’s story isn’t necessarily one about patience. Instead, the Book of Job tells the story of a good, Godly man who faced more than most people would be able to bear. While God didn’t directly cause Job to face these things, He did allow it. Let’s start at the beginning of the Book of Job to set the scene.
Job 1:8 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
While the angelic host was gathered around God’s throne, Satan entered the room. Satan obviously wasn’t there to praise. Instead, he was looking for someone that he could attack. He was looking for someone that he could bring trouble upon in the name of getting them to give up their faith. In a remarkable turn of events, God actually suggested Job.
The Bible is clear about the fact that God does not put us through seasons of testing. However, He does allow us to face seasons of adversity. Satan cannot do anything to one of God’s children that God doesn’t give Him the permission to do. This was true about Job, and it’s true about us.
However, the things that Job faced were more severe than anything that most of us will ever have to deal with. God told Satan that he could afflict Job, but he could not touch his body.
Between Job 1:13-19, a handful of Job’s remaining employees came to him to let him know that all of his livestock had either been killed or stolen, and that all 10 of his children were dead. In Biblical times, livestock was a form of currency, so in essence, Job lost his life’s savings and all of his children in a single afternoon. Can you imagine? Isn’t that more than a person could possibly bear? Even more alarmingly, the attacks didn’t stop there.
Since Job refused to give up his faith, Satan had to go back to ask God for permission to do something else to him. Would God really allow a faithful, upright, God-fearing man to go through more than what Job had already been through? The answer may surprise you.
Job 2:6 (NIV)
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
God actually gave Satan permission to do more to Job than he had already done! This time, Satan was allowed to touch Job’s body, but could not take his life. Soon, we find Job sitting in a pile of ash (an ancient form of mourning), scraping his body with pottery, trying to relieve the pain and the itching since his body was riddled with sores.
In addition to Job’s emotional suffering (the loss of his children) and his mental suffering (the loss of his wealth), now Job was forced to deal with physical suffering. How could anyone bear what Job was dealing with? Did God really allow a person to go through so much? Yes, He did. Additionally, Job’s method of handling the situation continues to serve as an example for us.
Job 13:15 (NIV)
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”
By the time Job spoke these words, his friends had come to comfort him, only to end up telling him that everything he was facing was his own fault. His wife had told him that he should “curse God and die.” Not only had Job lost everything he had, his children, and his own health, but the people who should have supported him the most had turned their backs on him, too.
Yet, through all of that, Job declared that even though God was allowing him to face more than he could handle, he would continue to put his trust in his Lord. Why? Because Job knew that even if God allowed him to face more than he could handle, it wasn’t more than God could handle.
When you fast forward to the end of the Book of Job, we find God’s resolution to the matter.
Job 42:10 (NIV)
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
Yes, there are times where God will allow us to face things that are too big for us. He will allow us to deal with more than we can handle, but that’s because He knows that He can handle anything that we face. When we remain faithful in the face of those things, God will bless us more abundantly than we could have ever dreamt.
If you’re facing something that’s more than you can handle, take your cares and worries to God. When you do so, He will strengthen and sustain you.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I can’t handle what I’m facing. The adversity that I’m dealing with is too big for me, but I know that nothing is too big for You. Give me the strength that I need to endure it and sustain me during the waiting. In Christ’s name, Amen.