1 Corinthians 10:13 is one of the most misquoted verses in scripture. I’ve heard it and also said it like this, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. But the verse actually says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.”
I think the root of this common scriptural misunderstanding is our need and longing for a God who is in control, in both the good times and bad. And, there’s plenty of other scripture promising us that he is.
But, when we misrepresent scripture, saying that God won’t give us more than we can handle, I think that we unintentionally also misrepresent the nature of God. We’re creating an image of a deity who sits in heaven meting out misery, stopping just before we hit our breaking point. Do we really believe that’s the kind of God we serve?
Isn’t it far more plausible and in line with God’s character to believe that we suffer trials because we live in a fallen world? And, because he is our Father God, who loves us and provides for us, he offers us his strength and his power to help us cope with these tough times. So, instead of not giving us more than we can handle, he actually gives us the strength we need to handle the difficulties that go along with living in a fallen world.
Listen to this reassurance from the book of Isaiah 40:29-31…"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
So, if you are going through a trial today, remember the strength that God has promised you. Call on him to give you what you need to endure.