God Will Allow More Than You Can Bear: Dispelling the Myth

God has not promised that trials will not overwhelm us. The opposite appears to be true in Scripture.

Sickness. Job loss. Death of a loved one. Unexpected major home repairs. I’m sure if you sat down and wrote a list of all the trials you’ve faced in life you could probably add a few others to this list. I know I could. And you’ve probably faced more than one of these trials at a time. You may have found yourself reaching your breaking point when you felt like you could simply not handle anything else only to have one more thing go wrong. Maybe you felt like you were experiencing something akin to what Job suffered through in Scripture.

When we face trials, we often have a friend, pastor, or loved one reach out to comfort us with kind words. Maybe they even said, “God will never give you more than you can bear.” What a beautiful sentiment that is. But the truth is, as well-meaning as that comforter may have been, nowhere in Scripture do we find this statement to be true. In this training video, Ron Edmondson explores what the Bible says about suffering.

The Truth

The promise that God won’t give you more than you can bear is a lie that is based on truth—as many lies are. But its origins are certainly true. The truth is God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). No one is disputing that. God will always provide a way out whenever you are being tempted.

If you are a believer God has given you His Holy Spirit. And you have power over sin. If you resist the Devil, he will flee you. And so there is never going to be a temptation to sin that you can’t overcome. But God has not promised that trials will not overwhelm us. In fact, the very opposite seems to be true in Scripture.

The Examples

In 1 Kings 17-18, we read about Elijah, the amazing man of God, and the miracles he did. But in 1 Kings 19, we find that Elijah was running from Jezebel, scared for his life. Elijah went so far as to tell God that he might as well die. In that passage, the angel of the Lord told Elijah the journey was too much for him.

In 2 Corinthians 1, we hear about Paul. You remember Paul, the mighty man of God, the one who was mighty in the people’s eyes even before he became a believer? And yet Paul writes that he felt the sentence of death and he gave up all hope of being saved. And he goes on to tell us that the trials he faced happened so that he might not rely on himself but on God.

If Elijah and Paul can’t handle the trials before them, how can you and I possibly handle our trials? And in Luke 22 we are even told that Jesus cried out for His trials to be taken from Him and was strengthened by an angel.

This article was adapted from content provided by Ron Edmondson. To read more from Ron click HERE.


  • “God has not promised that trials will not overwhelm us. The opposite appears to be true in Scripture.” –@RonEdmondson
  • “Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1 that he felt the sentence of death and gave up all hope of being saved.” –@RonEdmondson
  • “If Elijah and Paul can’t handle this suffering, how much more can you or I handle?” –@RonEdmondson
  • “If we believe the lie that God will not put more on us than we can bear, we will miss a lot of the great meaning suffering has for us.”-@RonEdmondson
  • “Trials have value. Trials cause us to repent from our sin of self-sufficiency.” –@RonEdmondson
  • “God wants you to completely rely on Him.” –@RonEdmondson

Published December 28, 2017

P.S. Get our best content in your inbox

We send one email per week chock full of articles from a variety of Church Planting voices.