God Does Give You More Than You Can Handle – Sunday Grace Notes

We’ve all heard the phrase, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” but I say that isn’t true and here’s why!

There is some really bad theology that we hear all the time, and often share ourselves, but rarely dive deep into what that phrase really means.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

coffee table tray sitting on a tufted ottoman in front of a Christmas tree with a glass vase filled with greenery, a copper candle, books and a woven box

“Let go and let God.”

“God is your co-pilot.”

“Heaven gained a new angel today.”

“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”

The enemy is continually trying to reduce the holiness and sanctity of our God through these horrible cliches and some people even believe these phrases come from the Bible – which they don’t.

I have to admit, I cringe a bit when I hear these phrases, and most times, I smile and say thanks because I know the person means well.

But there are times when I speak against these cliches. And there was one we heard often these past few months.

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

Really? Do you want to read Job and get back to me on that one?

All kidding aside, these are the reasons why this isn’t a cliche we should say anymore.

Why God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

We Desperately Need Him

Have you ever heard the latin term Sola Gratia – which means by Grace alone?

Our pastor calls us out with a phrase that I love to hear. Sola bootstrapia – meaning we think we can succeed by bootstrapping our efforts. All on our own.

In all honesty, it’s the complete opposite.

By claiming that He doesn’t give us more than we can handle, then our desperate need for Him is diminished.

Think about it.

If the Sovereign Lord gave us that power to tackle whatever huge problem we face, then why would we ever seek Him or call out to Him in our darkest hours?

The Book of Psalms is a great way to see how we are to approach Christ when our emotions have overcome us.

If you have ever read through the Psalms, time and time again, you hear the writer cry from the depths of his soul, wrestling with the horrible circumstances that he faces.

It sure sounds like David has more than he could handle in Psalm 13:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
    light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
    lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

David’s cry to the Lord is when he is at his deepest despair, feeling abandoned by God as he directly confronts God.

But we also see his exclamations of gratitude and praise at the end of that Psalm:

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

When you are in the valley, you remember the mountain.

It’s in your deepest despair that you recognize the glory of your salvation that He has graciously gifted to us.

God’s promises in times of trouble can be seen in other Psalms:

In Matthew 11, Jesus tells us to come to Him, all who are weary and burdened, and He will give us rest.

Scripture promises us that, as believers, we will face trials (John 16:33), and in John 15, Jesus mentions that every branch that bears fruit, He lovingly prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.

Pruning and removing is a painful process, but the ultimate hope is that by walking this difficult path, the problems God allows in our lives allow us to grow in Him.

Think back to a tough time you faced and how clear the purpose seemed on the other side, even though in the midst of the storm, you didn’t understand why.

Remembering those storms we face ourselves can help us help our loved one.

We can become more compassionate.

Think of a dear friend or loved one who is desperately struggling with something.

You want to help in some way, and offer encouraging words.

If you encourage them by saying, “Hang in there! God will never give you more than you can handle,” you minimize the pain they are experiencing.

It shifts the blame of circumstances to God, dismisses their current circumstances, and could possibly cause questions to arise in their faith at a time when they need Him the most.

Oftentimes, we try to offer solutions to others’ problems, but many times, they just need to feel heard and have a safe space to share their hearts.

We can become more compassionate to their feelings by saying things like, “How can I pray for you?” or “Is there any way I can help?”

Hurt with them, hug them, or just listen.

It’s about us trusting Him.

Telling someone, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, implies that they have somehow failed when they feel that they are at their wits end.

But what we should do is be encourage them to rest in Christ while enduring those troubled times.

In John 15:4-5 we are called to abide in Christ and apart from Him, you can do nothing.

That is ultimate trust in Him.

Without knowing our brokenness, we cannot rejoice in His salvation.

Without suffering, we can’t truly surrender.

Without surrender, we can’t truly trust.

Without trust, we can’t truly rest.

So instead of that old cliche, encourage them to seek God in the midst of the trial and be there with them to help see them through.

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

Last weekend was such a treat. We took the boys to Atlanta to see a concert and shared a fun day exploring some film locations from our favorite shows.

And we are thrilled to have a week at home with both boys in the house for Thanksgiving break.

This has been a tough season for us all and being able to enjoy more precious family time is much needed!

The Latest with Us

This past week, we dove into nutrition research to prep us for Thanksgiving.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal will look a little bit different this year.

We were thankful to finally meet with a nutritionist to help us figure out how eating will change for us. I look forward to sharing those details with you once we have gained more knowledge.

And, we are looking for the week ahead with excitement!

New Happenings

You all know my love for Romabio products. Well I just heard about a new product coming out at the beginning of 2023 and I can’t wait to try it out in our home! Stay tuned for that!

Hopefully this week, we will start discussing our plans to launch and record our podcast.

And I continue to post more videos over on YouTube, so be sure to head over there and give us a follow!

My Favorites from the Week

My coffee maker is slowly dying. I’ve tried a DIY hack I found online, and it worked for a few days, but it now takes me about 15 minutes to brew just one cup of coffee.

Hopefully I’ll find a new one with the Black Friday deals coming up. Here are my current favorites from Ninja – option 1 and option 2.

But if you have one you love, please share it with me!

Speaking of Black Friday, I will be scouring the best deals, so be sure to follow me over on my social media channels where I’ll share the links to the discounts!

And here are a few of my favorites from the web:

Want more inspiration? Check out some of our previous Sunday Grace Notes we’ve written.

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  1. I’m glad this encouraged you, Linda. And I am also guilty of throwing out these phrases, so you are not alone! It means so much that you took the time to comment, so thank you for being such a loyal reader!

    Wishing you a blessed holiday season!

  2. Oh Karolyn! I am so blessed to hear that this post touched you. My hope is to encourage and not shame anyone, so remember that our Lord had unending mercies. I will be praying for our Father to grant you the exact words as you are there for your niece! What a kind aunt she has!

    Blessings to you!

  3. Thank you, Suzanne, for your continued prayers! I need to give an update on Trent here soon, but he is doing so well!

    I’m glad this post encouraged you. I, too, have said these phrases a time or two, but I’m grateful that we have such a forgiving Savior! And through all of this, we have seen His incredible and tender mercies that I pray you also felt in your breast cancer battle. Know that we will be lifting you in prayer that remission is granted for many, many years!


  4. I never thought about it before, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I’m guilty saying this to others. I won’t say that phrase to others again. I totally agree with what you are saying. You give perfectly good scriptures to see why that’s not true. Thank you for opening mine and others eyes to this. 👀

  5. Thank you, Jen…very much…for this post. I am so guilty of saying those cliches of “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. I never thought of what I was saying was so wrong, but it certainly is, now that I read this post from you. You are so right in that during our worst times is exactly when He wants us to seek Him out for help and guidance. Thank You. My niece and I were together recently and she is struggling with her life right now and confided in me her struggles. I used that exact phrase and truly wish I’d read this post before she and I were together. She is new to coming to the Lord so after I explain this post and that He is seeking her to trust Him by reaching out for His help during her worst of times, even though the help may take some time, her struggles at this time will become less. God Bless and thank you so very much. I will definitely pass this thinking forward.

  6. You are so right. The cliches you talked about seem to be part of our vernacular. I know I’m guilty of saying them at one time or another. ( To my shame.) God did not promise us a life without problems, but He did promise us that He would be with us through them. When I was going through breast cancer years ago, I found that He is enough! Thank you for reminding me that my job is not to give a wise sounding cliche but to listen and to pray!
    I will continue to pray for you, your husband, and your family!
    Love in Christ,
    I Thessalonians 5:17