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It’s Monday. A new week. New tasks. New burdens. New mercies. Podcast listener Fabian writes in to ask, “Dear Pastor John, this phrase ‘God will never give us more than what we can handle,’ is often used when someone is facing life challenges, suffering, and trials. Based on the Bible, is this phrase biblically correct?”

Two Essential Words

Whether that statement — “God will never give us more than what we can handle” — is biblically correct depends on what we mean by we and handle.

What does we mean? Does we mean God takes into account our independent possibilities based on our track record of handling trouble and, thus, measures out that trouble to us so that it doesn’t go beyond what we — independently, by our own resources — can handle? Is that what we means?

Or, does we mean that we can handle it if we receive it by faith in divine assistance, and that God knows what he himself will give us by grace in enabling us to handle what he gives us? So, he is not thinking of we as independent, but we as dependent on the grace that comes with the difficulty. Which of those two does this statement ask about?

What does handle mean? Does handle mean you never collapse under it? Does it mean you never fail in any task? Does it mean you never mess up? Does it mean you never fail to get a B+ on every one of life’s tests?

Or, does handle mean that you never fail so that you never recover or repent or restore reconciliation, and that you are finally lost because you failed? Which does handle mean?

The rest of the interview can be found HERE.