A popular saying that you might hear in Christian circles is that “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. While it has a nice ring to it, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Often we find this idea gets misinterpreted from 1 Corinthians 10:13 but the problem is that this passage is talking about temptation, not suffering.
When people take those words about temptation to sin and apply them to trials and suffering then the statement is no longer true. In fact the opposite is true: God does give us more than we can handle.
Consider the Apostle Paul’s experience in 2 Corinthians where it clearly shows that God may give some people more suffering than he or she can handle:
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” – 2 Corinthians 1:8
When reading this verse, it’s pretty clear that Paul is saying that he had more than he could handle. So why does God give us more than we can handle? We find the answer in the next verse:
“Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” – 2 Corinthians 1:9
God gives us more than we can handle by ourselves so we will depend on Him. Paul tells us it was when he did not have the strength to face his own suffering that he found God’s power and faithfulness was sufficient to provide what he needed. So instead of telling people that “God won’t give you more than you can handle”, let’s say this instead, “God will give you all the grace you need in every situation”.
Focusing on our suffering and our own ability to handle it doesn’t bring comfort. Focusing on God and His resources for us in suffering does bring great comfort and hope. When God doesn’t remove our obstacle, we can rest in His goodness that He will always be our way through it.