These theological assumptions take on many forms but are most often manifested in quaint, folksy sayings that have been passed down for generations, sometimes from well-meaning family members or friends who simply want to help. The problem is that these assumptions are just that…assumptions, and have never been substantiated by Scripture! I believe the greatest culprit is this assumption, most often voiced like this, “God has promised that He will never place more on you than you can stand!” We’ve all heard it; some of you have even said it, thinking that it will bring comfort to someone who is in the midst of great difficulties, believing invaluable biblical advice is being offered up. But there’s a massive problem, it’s not found in the Bible!! As a matter of fact, the principle behind that advice is actually foreign to Scripture, even the antithesis of it!
I suppose this thought derived from a verse of Scripture that has nothing to do with trials, but with temptations, No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV)
This is indeed a wonderful promise, God will never allow you to be tempted more than you can bear, which is a liberating thought… but the subject is “temptation”, not “Trials” or “hard times”! Nowhere in the Bible does God ever promise that He will not place more (difficulties) on us than we can bear! Fact is, time after time in the Bible you see God doing just the opposite; He gives people far more than they can handle, He puts them in proverbial pressure cookers and turns up the heat, sometimes for long periods of time! Why would He do such? So we will trust and rest in Him! We are weak and frail creatures and cannot handle trials on our own…we must depend on and rest in the Almighty God. When we depend on and rest in Him through Christ, He is glorified and we are filled with joy, even in the midst of trials and difficulties! This is God’s plan! He places more on us than we can bear so we will turn to Him as our burden bearer through Christ! So…when we tell someone that “God will never place more on us than we can bear”, we are doing great damage and stealing God’s glory…so don’t do it!! When someone is bearing the overwhelming weight of difficulties, point them to Jesus!! Tell them that He alone can bear their burdens… that way God is glorified and those who turn to Christ are at peace even in the midst of those hard times! That’s God’s plan…
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.”
I really appreciate this post. I agree! God places before me on a regular basis, events and circumstances that are far beyond my capacity to bear or handle. But, He never puts more on me than He can handle! That is why Paul wrote, “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me!” We can't do all things without Him. In fact, apart from “The Vine” Jesus said, we “can do nothing.”