In the movie “Saved By Grace,” now on PureFlix.com, Rick is a retired police officer struggling over the tragic death of his wife. In a moment of heartbreak, he utters this sarcastic line: “God never gives us more than we can handle, right? What happens if it is more than we can handle?”
If you’ve ever experienced tragedy, grief, heartbreak, or temptation (and who has not?), you’ve likely felt like Rick in this scene. While being told that God will not give you more than you can handle, you struggle not to be crushed by the weight of life. You may be left feeling like God has given you more than you can handle - but has He?
The idea that God never gives us more than we can handle comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, “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 endure it.”
When asked if the statement, “God never gives us more than we can handle,” was biblically accurate, Pastor John Piper wrote, “Whether that statement...is biblically correct depends on what we mean by ‘we’ and ‘handle.’”
We may be tempted to assume that this phrase means God will never allow anything truly bad to happen in our lives. It is nice to believe that life will be all sunshine and rainbows, and all too easy to forget that rainbows come only after rainstorms.
For Rick in “Saved By Grace,” this illusion is shattered when his wife is tragically murdered and his world is turned upside down, causing a crisis of faith and a long period of grief and depression. It is not hard to relate to Rick’s struggle or his cynical comment mentioned earlier.
Rick realizes the power of redemption through Grace’s stories.
Often, life’s circumstances don’t seem to match up with the concept of God giving us the strength to “handle” anything that comes our way. Is it that God is giving us more than we can handle? Or have we misunderstood what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians?
John Piper explains, “When Paul says he won’t give what is beyond what you are able, he means, not beyond what you are able with God’s help.” Let’s dissect our key verse to get a better understanding:
First, we must note Paul is talking about temptation, not circumstances. He begins, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.” This verse is often applied to situations of grief or hard times, despite the fact that Paul clarifies his subject. He continues, “And God is faithful…,” which is key. It is crucial for us to remember that no matter the circumstances or the pressure of great temptation, God is faithful, thus: “he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” And finally, “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” And here we understand Paul’s point. God will always provide a way out, and he will always offer assistance.
So what if God gives you more than you can handle? Remember these truths:
God is faithful. God has promised again and again to never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). When you feel life is more than you can handle, remember his faithfulness, and remember that God keeps his promises. If you’re struggling to remember this, check out a daily promise devotional like this one for encouragement.
You are not walking alone. Remember the parable of the footprints in the sand? This modern poem is a beautiful description of how God walks with us in all things.
You may be “struck down,” but you will not be destroyed. Life hits hard, but your God is bigger than your pain. You may not feel like you can “handle” it, but God has empowered you to be stronger than you know through Him. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 reminds us, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
One final thought: God is working in you and for you. Philippians 1:6 affirms, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
“Saved By Grace” is a fantastic story of a man learning what happens after God gives him “more than he can handle.” Watch it, and thousands of other family movies, for free during your free one month trial at PureFlix.com.