God won’t give us more than we can handle…really?

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Cor. 10:13

Have you ever found yourself stumbling over your search for the “right words” to say to someone after tragedy, loss, or devastating news of any kind?  I know I do, and I’m not sure there truly are the “right words”. However, none of us are comfortable in that awkward silent moment, so we say things like: 

“This too shall pass.” 

“It’ll get better.” 

“You certainly didn’t deserve/need this.” 

“Everything happens for a reason.” 

Or even clumsier, 

“Tie a knot and hang on.” 

One that is so often used as though based on scripture is:

“God won’t give you any more than you can handle.” 

This clever-sounding quip reminds me of my reaction the time I was in a time of despair and someone told me I just needed to lighten up and began reciting rather rude jokes. I liken that feeling to someone clanging symbols near my head during a migraine. 

As nice as "God won't give us more than we can handle" sounds, and we certainly want to believe that, it also is certainly nowhere to be found in scripture. And I think may actually leave the suffering in a bit of confusion. Much like my response to the rude jokes.

So, what do you think? Do you think God won’t give us more than we can handle…really? 

Read what Apostle Paul wrote regarding suffering.  

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many. (2 Cor. 1:8-11)
Paul said they were "burdened beyond their strength" to the point of despair, yet his faith was not in his ability to withstand, but in God who delivered them once before and trusted to do it again. Their hope was set on God's faithfulness and not on man's response to suffering.

There will be suffering. There will be pain. There will be illness. The disciples experienced all of it. No one is immune. It’s the world in which we live. 

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul wrote about an ambiguous “thorn in his flesh and a messenger of Satan”. He wrote,
 “Three time I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
So, how would you answer the question now? 

The truth is that if God never gives us more than we can handle, then we really don’t need Him do we? 

There will come a time when we will be burdened beyond our strength. We will question our ability to handle it. We may even wonder if God is even there. 

We can’t ... and He is. 

He is our very present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1) 

God will be there not with clever clichés or powerless platitudes, but in the power of His Word, in all the love and mercy of the Father, His sufficient grace through Christ, and the surpassing greatness of His power which is perfected in all our weakness.

There is divine comfort, divine healing, and divine rescue. But more often, God uses us, His people to be the hands and feet of Jesus to offer assistance, bring meals, run errands; and sometimes, open our mouth, to offer a word of encouragement or a prayer allowing the Spirit of God to speak through us, allowing God to work His perfect plan--in His timing--in the lives of those we are comforting.

Father of mercy, thank you for Your comfort. Help us to comfort others with the same comfort with which we ourselves have been comforted by You. Help us to speak healing words, graceful words, words of love to those who are suffering, as we allow Your mercy and love to permeate their soul and restore to them the joy of Your salvation. In Jesus' name, Amen and Amen.