God Never Gives You More Than You Can Handle
I have said it; most people have and I partly believe it. God never gives you more than you can handle. I would say, “not so.” We absolutely have things thrust upon us at times in our life that had the potential to entirely break us. Most of us could name at least one person that we know today that appears to have been broken by something that came into their lives, even years ago.
As I prepared to post this, I got word from a friend about a family that has had 6 massive things to deal with right now. I counted them. It began awhile ago and escalated. There are six primary areas I can pray for them in, but I thought of this very article as I read the note. There is a family that has more than they will ever handle without God’s intervention and healing, healing of several kinds. God allowed it and it beyond my understanding, but for faith that has proven itself worthy many times over.
Where did this belief come from that God never gives you anything more than you can handle? I believe it came from a place of optimism, but not necessarily a place of truth.
We were never meant to face hard times alone. We should not try to handle painful times on our own. I know the Lord, but sometimes I find myself in a terrible and unexpected circumstance that I feel utterly alone and forsaken. How can this be when the very Holy Spirit of God lives in me and promises that I will never be alone? He is The Comforter.
The answer would seem to be neither complex nor difficult to understand but there may be several reasons. Let us consider those in the form of questions:
- When trouble attacks, who do I want to communicate with first? Who is the default contact? Do I reach for my phone or do I drop to my knees?
- How faithful am I in keeping close relationship with the Heavenly Father? How much do I think about Him and talk to Him throughout recent days? This speaks of close communion, giving attention to the one that has called me Friend.
- Have I allowed the cares of this world to consume my days? I mean the things that catch my attention that are not necessarily of a spiritual nature? Each of us knows what these things are in our own lives.
These searching questions will tell us how prepared we are for the next tough thing God allows into our lives.
I believe that God does allows more into our life than we can handle – in part – to show us of our ongoing need for Him as as well as giving us an opportunity to reach out to Him so that His glory may be revealed in our lives.
When I am in the midst of a crisis, the last thing I want is to be an instrument that allows God’s glory to be revealed. I just want the pain to go away. When everything is right in my world and the sun is shining, I am thrilled to know that God has been glorified in my life and I happily share that testimony of God’s greatness and goodness. Interesting thing about a testimony though: We cannot have a testimony if we have first not had a test. That is not something that I have come up with, something I have heard said several times and each time the truth resonates as a reminder of the way that God has designed and created our lives for good. On the worst day I believe that. On the best days I rejoice in it.
Let us not believe that God does not give us more than we can handle, but let us use it as an opportunity to speak truth to ourselves. It may open a door to share the truth of God with someone else. Because – actually – God does allow more in our lives we can handle. Alone.
Faith and strength are not built overnight, but over years and through multiple trials and testings. How do we keep our sanity while the work is being done? In achieving most anything good and worthwhile in life there are accompanying disciplines required. It is really that simple. A child of God that is not reading their Bible regularly/daily is making their own life harder than it has to be, allowing for a void of much of the joy and peace that God gives to his children. It is incredibly easy to maintain a close relationship with God, but it requires discipline; how badly do you want it? We will usually have to give up something of the world to have meaningful companionship with God. Making it a habit may not be easy but at some point this relationship will become natural as breathing. Well; almost.
We never know on which day a new crisis will arrive. I got up on 17 June this year and had plans, none of which included my husband having a stroke, that took him home 48 hours later. No. That was not on my calendar. Each of us could name several landmark days in our lives where an unexpected event one day changed our lives forever. At the time, we felt we would never survive or that it would be a very long time until the feeling of normalcy returned. Would it ever?
We do survive, but our Heavenly Father wants more for our lives than mere survival. Have we taken it all upon ourselves or have we laid it at the very foot of the cross? It takes great discipline, even practice to do this when we feel crippled with grief.
Everyone handles trials differently. What does matter is whether or not I bring Jesus into my pain, preventing me from being utterly alone, whether I feel His presence or not at that moment. By faith, I know He is there.
There are things in life that we must work our way through. The very phrase “work our way through” implies potential for strengthening. I was young and now I am old and I can tell you that working our way through trauma with the Spirit of God will give a genuine strength and even a holy strength to continue on in joy and in peace. Until you have done this, perhaps several times, you may not feel the confidence of brighter days ahead. They will be there quicker and surer with Jesus than without Him.
Back to the Bible: my Bible is absolutely the greatest life source I have in difficult times. Because I am nothing but dust, I can tell you that there have been times that the last thing I wanted to do was read my Bible, especially when I’m hurting and needing comfort. It is during those times that I grab my stack of cards that are like lifesavers that had been thrown to me just before I go down for the third time. I am strengthened by my triage cards. It won’t be long until I can sit with my Bible … with my Lord.
One of the benefits of having confidence that we are not alone is that we develop a practice of including God in all we do. I sense His presence at this moment; I believe that I am never alone, that He thinks good toward me and that He will guide and comfort me, when necessary, in all areas of my life. God’s aim is to give me the best life possible on this earth. Jeremiah 29:11.
I may never reach a place that I rejoice in trauma, at least in that moment, but my mindset is never that God will give us more than we can handle. He absolutely does give me more than I can handle … alone. We can handle all things together, Jesus and me. If you would like to start set of encouraging Scripture cards or even copy them to a document and print them out, fold it up and tuck it in your wallet so it is always handy – now is the time. I don’t know when and I don’t know the circumstance, but with certainty we will have another one of those unscheduled days that we must face real difficulties. It will come and it will not break us… And us is the word we want to remember. Us being, the Holy Spirit of God and me. The Holy Spirit of God and you.
Here are some of the verses that have encouraged and strengthened me. Without a doubt, as you read through the Scriptures yourself, you will find verses that will mean more to you because they will speak to your heart about a particular area of your life needing encouragement, cheering or strengthening. The Bible is uniquely personal and valuable, unlike any book ever written.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Isaiah 40:29
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37
And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. Psalm 5:12
This article began with a quote as its title, a quote that is not accurate and will only be comfort for a brief moment, providing no lasting relief for the pain that is tearing you apart. A woman whose life I admire for the obstacles that she overcame with remarkable grace was also a writer. Corrie ten Boom. If you would like to be encouraged by quotes from Miss ten Boom, do a search for her name and the word “quotes.” This is a woman that has suffered and came forth as gold. Her words are apples of gold in pictures of silver. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes to think about when I feel that God has given me more than I can handle:
- You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.
- If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.
- There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.