Many people, including Christians, believe that this statement is from the Bible. It’s not!. I wrote a post some time ago titled “That’s Not In The Bible - God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Bear”. It was just one in a series of posts about comment statements and terms that many believe are in the Bible but actually don’t appear there (See That’s Not In The Bible). In that post I said that God actually does allow us to go through things that are too much for us to bear without Him.
The phrase “God will never give you more than you can bear” is not in the Bible. It is a misquote of;
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth Paul reminded them that people often choose to do the wrong thing when they are tempted. However we know that God does but tempt us. If we interpret this scripture in context we see that what Paul is saying is that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. When we are tempted to sin we can’t say that God tempted us,
James 1:13-15 (NKJV)13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Temptation and sin constantly test us today so we look to the Bible and in it we find that Paul told the Christians in Corinth that God is faithful and that He give us the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that is in us, to withstand the temptation and the consequences of sin.
This is not an escape from temptation, nor simply a hope of strength to overcome in the future, but a present power to endure in the midst of temptation, a glorious promise for the sorely tried. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
What Do You Do When Things Get Too Much To Bear?
Jesus tells us to come Him;
Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
He tells us to help each other;
Galatians 6:1-5 (NKJV)1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.5 For each one shall bear his own load.
God Doesn’t Expect You To Bear Your Troubles Alone
It’s pretty clear that God doesn’t expect any person to handle everything that comes to them alone. The Scriptures never say that God won’t give you more that you can handle what they do say is that if you trust God He will be with you through it.
I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. — Numbers 11:14
Moses boldly spoke these very honest words to the Lord: the Israelites were far too big a burden for Moses to bear. God responded to Moses’ weariness by assigning additional people to carry the load, specifically seventy elders who could help Moses lead. God heard the cry of Moses and acted.
Many of us carry burdens, and the biggest burden we may find ourselves carrying is people with all their burdens.
Did you know that God didn’t design us to carry even our own burdens?
We are to give our cares and concerns to the Lord. So why do so many of us spend our lives carrying not only our burdens but also the burdens of others? You don’t have to.
Know that God sees you just as He saw Moses. God hears your cries. The Almighty God will carry your burden and relieve you of the heavy burdens that you are carrying for others. Let Him — with relief and gratitude.
Lord, I’m weary. I’m so tired of my own burdens and from my burdens, and I can barely handle the weight of other people’s problems. Help me! Amen.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7
Has anxiety bothered you this week? Have deadlines and to-do lists increased stress like bunnies multiplying in springtime? Have you noticed that the older you get, the more anxious you become? If you answered yes to any of those questions, look again at Peter’s reminder of a very simple (but hard to do) solution: casting. To cast is to throw something with such strength that you don’t expect to have that object returned. Casting your anxiety, then, is an act of surrender.
You can safely cast your cares on Jesus because He loves you. He is not sitting in heaven tsk-tsking you for being needy.
No, Jesus willingly bears your burdens. Compelled by His great love for you, He wants to take those worries and concerns from you. So your job is to let Him do His job. Pray. Tell Him about every single source of stress in your life. It’s time to let your fear go into the capable hands of your Friend.
Jesus, please help me surrender my anxieties to You. I am so grateful that You love me and will take them from me, amen.
Excerpted with permission from The Beautiful Word Devotional, copyright Zondervan.