The statement is made frequently: God doesn't give you more than you can bear. I have heard it frequently by people in society, not just by friends, family, people of faith and belief in God. It's become a cliche comment.
But is it true?
Auntie Con would tell me frequently, God thinks you have really strong shoulders and so He knows you can handle this. The statement was made to be of comfort and to give peace. But inside, it still made me feel frustrated and question why. It didn't bring comfort to the enormous trials, pain, and difficulties. I was weary, hadn't I faced enough in life? Didn't God believe that I loved Him? Didn't God know that my purpose was solely to serve Him and I was going to do that with my whole heart, soul and mind? Didn't God understand that I didn't need this too? The thought of me having stronger shoulders than someone else made me feel picked on. Say I did, does that make me a better person to have to deal with this trial over someone else? Did God really feel that I could handle it and someone else couldn't? Did that mean God loved me less then He loved them if they didn't faced these types of really hard times? Or that God loved me more?
It just didn't make sense. There are times I just didn't want to bear no flippin trial. I had flat out had enough!
Then I would have to remind myself. I don't get to choose my trials. God does. God is perfect. He states that all things will work together for my good, but never said that the things would be good. [Romans 8:28]
In the last year as I have taken a step back and reviewed God's Word, tried to ignore all the things I was told "it means", actually read what was inspired by Him and nobody else, reflect on the passage and correlate other bible stories, I have learned that that statement is not true. Though it is said by religious and non-religious people, it isn't true.
You are probably thinking, yes, it is. You no doubt are going to use I Corinthians 10:13 to back it up.
So give me a chance to explain.
If you could handle all of life's problems, why would there be a need for God? Why would you need His Strength?
If it wasn't more than we could bear, what would drive us to God? What would make us need His Strength?
In the verse I referenced that is commonly used, God states: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can bear it. [II Corinthians 10:13]
God states that no trial has overtaken you? We all face the same temptations, but we all don't face the same trials. Can you get out of trials? I wish you could! You can't. God states He will not let you be tempted without a course of action that you can choose to take to make it through the temptation.
So when Jesus wept, was it because it was the situation that brought him to tears more than He could bear?
What about Joseph? All the trials he faced, were they more than he could bear?
What about Job? He left his clothes when he was tempted. He cursed God in his affliction of trials. [see addendum added at bottom of post]
What about Paul when he says...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. [II Corinthians 1:8 NIV]
Wow. It was so much more than they could bear they wanted to die! There was no way to escape that.
I believe God gives us more than we can bear, in our strength, so that we come to Him for His strength. I believe God gives us more than we can bear, so that we develop deeper character and become like Him. When we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our character. When our character is refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God's greatness. [Romans 5:3-4 The Voice] ...because you know the testing of your faith...James 1:3 NIV, this is not a temptation of your faith, it is a test, a trial, something you have to endure. These trials are only to test your faith. [I Peter 1:7 NLT] I believe God gives us more than we can bear, so that we prune and become the tree that no matter what you do, you prosper [my abridged version of Psalm 1:3 The Voice].
I have had people argue that temptations in the Greek word is trials. I will tell you, I do not consider myself a Bible Scholar and honestly, I am not wanting to become one. I want to read God's Word as He has it written for me and trust that His Spirit will reveal himself to me. However, I am pretty confident that if God wanted it translated that way, don't you think He would have made sure that it would have been done? Don't you think if we could escape trials, we would? Either way, in temptations and in trials, I am confident that God is faithful.
If you want to read some more thoughts on the subject, read "52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday" by Steve McVey's, specifically Lie #20 - God Won't Put More on You Than You Can Bear. He has some interesting thoughts on the subject as well that I found interesting to reflect on.
God will give you more than YOU can bear...let Him give you strength to bear it!
[I had posted a link to this post on Facebook and was corrected by someone that Job did not ever curse God. This is correct, Job 3:1 He spoke a curse, not upon God but upon the day of his birth. - The Voice However, my thought was life got so horrible that he hated his birth, he hated his life and despised all the things that were happening to him. In essence, it all goes back to God because God created his birth...his life...and allowed the things that were happening to him. I am incorrect in this blog post to technically say that he cursed God because he didn't...yet his hearts attitude was to curse it all, which was the point I was trying to make that life becomes more than we can handle.]