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.* –1 Corinthians 10:13
*In the above passage, the Greek words used for “temptation” and “tempted” can also mean “testing” and “tested.”
“God will never give you more than you can handle.” Wait, what?
Even before becoming a believer, I remember hearing that. I heard it afterward, too.
But what I learned soon after was that God will indeed give you more than you can handle, and with good reason.
I didn’t experience the worst, most harrowing trials of my life till after I was saved. And in hindsight, I can see how God made sure to prepare me for it.
What I learned was that He will give you more than you can handle so you can:
- trust in His sufficiency
- deny your flesh and worldly urges to worry and try to solve things yourself
- have faith in His plans, and that they are good
- be strengthened
- learn grace, wisdom, patience, and joy in the face of trials
In other words, God will give you more than you could ever handle on your own, so you can see who is really taking care of things.
That doesn’t mean you kick back and wait for God to solve all your problems. Oh, no. You still are given discernment to learn when to act and step out in faith…and if you’re not sure, then dive deep into His word, and carve out quiet time to talk to Him.
So, to rephrase the well-meaning advice Christians give each other, I prefer to say that God will help you through more than you could handle alone.
LifeChurch.tv series: God Never Said That
LifeChurch.tv has a sermon series titled, “God Never Said That,” which includes popular cultural misconceptions like “God will never give you more than you can handle” and other well-meaning advice. Check out the sermon on the misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13: