Will God give you more than you can handle?

Does the Bible Say “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle?”

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

How many times have you heard this? It gets used a lot.

Many people use this line to try to encourage a friend or family member whenever times are tough. And while it’s absolutely essential that we do everything we can to build up and encourage people who are experiencing trials and adversity, we need to make sure that what we encourage them with is the truth.

While this phrase sounds very positive and affirming, you will not find “God won’t give you more than you can handle” anywhere within the pages of the Bible. Like many other platitudes, it simply doesn’t exist.

What you will find is the verse that it appears to be a misquotation of, 1 Cor 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (emphasis mine)

Does God Tempt Us to Sin?

Before we go further, let’s address an important question: does God tempt people to sin? The Bible’s answer is no. God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). It doesn’t work that way. God isn’t looking for ways to make us fail—we can do that well enough on our own.

So He doesn’t tempt us—but we still sin. Couldn’t He stop that? While that’s a good question, we have to remember that God has a purpose for our temptations. He allows us to be tempted so that we will grow in holiness.

That’s what helps us make sense of what Paul wrote about being tempted beyond our ability in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

There’s Always a Way Out of Sin

When Paul wrote that God will not tempt us beyond our ability, he meant that we are never in a situation where have no other choice but to sin. In a situation where telling the truth will damage your reputation, for example, it’s much easier to give in to the temptation to protect how people see you and lie, rather than do the right thing, which is tell the truth. That’s why there’s no such thing as a “white lie”—one that you tell to protect the feelings of someone else. We never lie to make someone else feel better, only to avoid discomfort ourselves. It’s just easier to lie and not deal with the consequences of telling the truth.

But, easy rarely equals right. We always have the option of doing the right thing, that which is honoring to God, but it will often cost us—whether that cost is reputation, position, relationship, or money, there will be a cost. But it’s always worth it to do the right thing.

When God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

So does God give us more than we can handle? Yep. And for proof of this, we only have to look at the Bible itself. For example, Jeremiah was a prophet prior to the Babylonian captivity. He warned the people to repent, but they didn’t listen. Instead, they beat him. They plotted against him. Even his own family rejected him. Emotionally, that was far more than he could handle (see Lamentations).

Paul himself is also an example of this. He shared in his own experience in 2 Corinthians 11:21–30, which included:

  • Imprisonment
  • “Countless” beatings
  • Multiple shipwrecks
  • Dangers in every environment and from all people
  • Hunger and thirst
  • Sleepless nights

He was even left for dead!

But Paul didn’t write these to boast in his suffering. He did it so that we might know that God will always give us more than we can handle. He boasted “of the things that show my weakness” (v. 30) because those things show his (and our) dependency on the power and mercy of God.

Growing in Dependency

Earlier in 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote:

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor 1:8,9, emphasis mine).

Basically, he told the church, “We were so afflicted that we thought we were going to die! We were burdened beyond our ability. We could not handle it! But God gave us this adversity and burden so that we would rely on Him who can!”

We are not self-sufficient. We cannot just hunker down and power through every situation. And we cannot white-knuckle our way to holiness. We need God.

So maybe we need to stop seeing the trials and adversity in our lives as a burden, as an indication that God doesn’t love us. Maybe we need to start seeing them as proof that God indeed loves us very much—so much so that He will not let us try to rely on our own strength, but continue to show us that we must rely on Him to endure suffering and persevere until the end.

91 thoughts on “Does the Bible Say “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle?””

  1. I know this was posted long ago but hopefully reaches somebody. I was reading the Word this morning and during my reading I found Matthew 11:28-30. I this text specifically verses 29- 30 in the NLT Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” In this text Jesus is saying that in essence that He won’t give us more than we can handle. Hope this helps blessings to you.

  2. I just stumbled upon this article but I’m glad I did! Such a great reminded that God certainly does give us more than we can handle, and He does so to draw us closer to Him. I am dealing with some medical problems, and am being reassigned to a different position at my job because of it, but I know none of this is a surprise to God, and it is all in His hands. Thanks for this post!

  3. Sally Coleman

    I have been told over the years “God will not give you more than you can bear” I don’t even know where to start with the sifting by satan…but after 13 years and having end-stage Lyme, marriage destroyed, doing spiritual war fare, standing face to face with satan hatred..literally..there came a time a few month’s ago I couldn’t physically or spiritually take any more, to the point I said I didn’t care what happened..I told the Lord I can’t do this any more and at that time I actually felt a battle/skirmish going on inside…and “yes” Christ won. The battles didn’t stop but just lately they have been lightening up…the mental attacks and satans. I don’t know why I have been taken this far and have people tell me they are actually afraid to come to Christ because of what I have gone through…you can be taken past your point . And in God’s mercy and loving kindness He has kept from actually ending it all. These battles are still going but me faith is growing, I am learning or trying to learn not to be negative and “yes” God made promises and He will fulfill them in His time

    1. This article is a bunch of crap. why do peop;le commit suidice becase he fn gives them too much, someits from an a busivfe childhoord for an entire lifetime.n b heym the ony house ofn the block dewroyed by sandy, heck that is nothing, i could write a reallt long list of m life, most form chldhood or from laswt 43 yearsw, thqt none of you have evre encountered. none of you, aws i Hitler ina previous reincarnation i asume thre is god. but he hs alzhiemers, and let him fn get off my case and find another hobby, someone new, whom he has not yet tortured,

      yeah, well if he did not giv us more than we can handle, xpolain me the suicide statistics? eh. god doesn’t give a gdf, he watchesw as 6 millin Jews were alauoghyered, did he give f? did he? oh me oh my, the crazy theories from ostensibly religious sources. one i particularly just love, is that the 6 million Jews gashed, burned etc in the holocaust were the reincarnation of the dor (generation) of he golden calf, yup. when moshe avinu descended from har sinai and saw what Aaron had not been able to stop, he broke the tablets, yup, all of the 6 millions were reincarnations of those of the generation of the golden calf, (hey, there were not even 6 million Jews then).lol, not, love tht theory, because using that, all future genertions can still be annhiliateded because of the egel hazahav. i think this is a christian site? if so, ya guys get similoar from your pedophile priets, as we have our pedohile rqbbis,

      God, is not just in tsimtsum (diminished), he fn has alzheiners and needds sone new hobies, instead of persecuting peole who have led virtuous livews, from chilhood until 60’s. he fn has alzheiimer’s or satan has overcome him, i don’t care which, but this god, that many of you belive in, does not exist, or is, even, far far worse, a fn evill pervert. stam evil, this post of mine is probably considered avodah zara which will sentence me to, well, a hell of lot more suffering including losing the world to come olam habah, i fn do not want the olam haba life is not fair, and i undrestand that the afterlife is not fair either.r, nothing to look forward, to cremations, will that avoid resurrection at the time that messiah will lcome, (if you believe in that crap??), i.e. not christian, will it, i mean how much worse can he make it. only auschwitz would have been worse,and sometimes i think it would have been better.

      1. God does exist and is not evil…that’s satan. I couldn’t read your whole reply because a lot of it doesn’t make sense…it’s the spelling but I get it…you don’t believe in God.
        He can handle your reply I’m sure God has heard worse but one thing, He does love you and Christ did die for you.

  4. Thank you! I recently realized that this false assurance has actually been a stumbling block in my spiritual growth. If I grow spiritually, then maybe I will be at the mercy of even more hardships — better to remain weak than to be deemed fit more more hardship, right? It only recently occurred to me that I couldn’t think of anything in the Bible that supported this saying, so I Googled it and found your blog. It was exactly what I needed.

  5. We all have stories to tell and crosses to bear…everyone!! Some are greater than others. Evil is in the world. But God will always be there to help us through those trials and tribulations (if we allow him to be). It has nothing to do with how much we can bear.

  6. I needed so much to hear this I had almost given up on my life till I read this, I know that god will continue to help me in every day of my life.

  7. Pingback: Does God Really Not Give More Than We Can Handle? | Offset

  8. “And while it’s absolutely essential that we do everything we can to build up and encourage people who are experiencing trials and adversity, we need to make sure that what we encourage them with is the truth.”

    — agreed. it’s really great that you point this out. there are people, in their quest to encourage others and themselves, forget (or overlook) to include caution and end up throwing words casually around, especially God’s word, as long as it sounds comforting, fitting or like the ones their pastors preach. they do not try to see beyond just what they are currently seeing. the danger of not applying caution, and at times labeling their apathy as trust, is that their carelessness would lead to destruction. (Liar Game)

  9. Just came across your blog when researching for tomorrow morning’s message. Great insight and thank you for contending for the truth!

  10. Pingback: WILL GOD GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE? « Todd Stocker's Blog

  11. Good words! I often tell people that God certainly gives us more than we can possibly handle…but when he does, he is faithful also to provide the grace we need to handle it. In this, we are made aware of our inability, his absolute ability, and his perfect love, all to his glory!

  12. Just a ridiculous post.thank God for the the millions that died in WW2.*sarcasm*God gave the African americans a rich and prosperous life during the discovery of the “New World”*sarcasm*.God is so great he helps all those children who die of starvation in oppressed third world countries.If God really existed I wish he would pull a superman and make the world right sadly… God only cares about a select few and its not that poor and oppressed.

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  15. Thank you so much for this truth. I have just been going through this weird stuff lately, and these words spoke directly to my heart and brought me to tears. Thank you for being open to letting God speak through you. God is so good!!!! Thank you brother.

  16. Pingback: Handle THIS! | The Ramblings of a Redhead…

  17. People’s mangling of this verse drives me crazy, especially when the whole verse is not used.  First, there’s a HUGE difference between something being given and it being permitted.  Second, and I don’t think you emphasized this strongly enough, is that in the second half of the verse it stated that HE will give you a way out.  You WILL be be tempted beyond YOUR abilities, but not when you partner with Christ who strengthens you.

  18. Good one Aaron.
    South Africa is going through tough times at the moment. So many people leaving in fear of their safety. We are staying as there is so much work to be done here for God. We have many missionaries here from your end of the globe using S.A. as a base to go into the rest of Africa. Sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement now and then. I also fear for the safety of my family and I every day, I cannot help it. Even though our ultimate goal is to be with Jesus. That is what keeps us going. The worst that can happen to us is to die and go to heaven. Not that bad is it? We need your prayers and more Christians to help spread the gospel. Satan is blowing up churches in desperation, only sending more people to heaven mind you. Its the rest who are left behind who need prayers and encouragement from Christians around the world. 
    God Bless.
    Craig Ulyate.

  19. Great message. I’ve always been confused when I hear people misquote that scripture because I’ve always said the opposite. God alway gives us more than we can handle. Until we admit that we are unable to handle it, then sumit, and give it over to God who can. I always felt like trials beat us down, and down, and down again until we give up our own will, look up and say, “Ok. I get it.” Only when we surrender to Him can we experience the joy of belonging to Him. As children of God, we have trust in the challenges we face. This confidence never comes from within ourselves. But when we believe Him and rely on His Word, instead of our own or other’s feelings, the Holy Spirit guides us and gives us the ability and courage to accomplish His will. God never tells us to do anything without giving us the ability to do it. We might not want to do it or feel like it, bedause it might seem impossible. But it’s not about what we want. I want what He wants. So if it doesn’t seem possible and I can’t handle it, I trust that I am able to through Christ who strengthens me.

  20. Christians have a tendency to think they are immune to the laws that govern the Universe (which God placed into existence), when in reality we are facing trouble from seed we’ve sown. No-one is exempt from the Laws of Reciprocation. 
    I do feel God protects us from certain peril. But spiritual maturity begins when we learn to look at our part in the situation: to take responsibly for what happens to us. God — nor Satan, for that matter –  are as responsible as we want to believe.

  21. God is powerful, he will give trials but it is common to all of us. We will be thankful for the trials and problems as we can acknowledge God’s presence and ask Him to sustain us..By this, we can go closer to God.


  22. Pingback: God won’t give you more than you can handle. « Luggaged

  23. “God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. (Quran 2:286 )

  24. I believe in god,u can say dat i have full faith in god.everything dat is written here is absolutely correct and i agree wid dat..we r his slave,only god can decide wat we will do next.

  25. I actually found this because I was searching for a scripture that was the source of “God will never put you in a situation you can’t handle.” To my surprise I could find no scripture that supported this, with the exception of “temptation.” Seeing that this blog had a similar title, I thought I had found what I was looking for. Wow was I wrong, As Marianne Lordi wrote, the common saying mentioned is a borderline contradiction of scripture. After reading this blog, I actually understand my situation even MORE than when I thought I did quoting “God will never put you….etc.” God is giving me more than I can handle because A), depending on the situation there, are so many lessons I will learn from it, and B), God wants me to know I am getting through this because of HIM, not ME. Thank you Aaron for this blog.

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  27. I’ve gone through a lot in the last 6 months. I’m dealing with 2 (bad) life changing events. I’ve gotten so sick of people telling me that God will not give me more than I can bear. Especially when I know the bible doesn’t say that. I finally had enough and posted a link to your blog post. Thank you so much for stating the truth so well.

  28. Stanley79sophie

    I knew this saying was wrong who would have thought when I googled it you would be the first to pop up on the list telling me just what I needed to hear thank you. As always you are a blessing in my life.
    Ly Soph

  29. Hi there,
    This article is a blessing – i’ve had quite a terrible time for about 5 years now, with lots of ppl saying “God wont give you more than you can handle”. It has obviously been a lie since most of the time i was wanting death more than life.

    I love your explanation and it feels a burden has lifted. Finally an article that brings me closer to God than pushing me away.

    I have read comments underneath and found it interesting that you think a lie should never be told.
    Let me give you my example –

    I was diagnosed with a mental illness at 18 and to get me to go to a doctor, my parents had to lie. If they had not, i would have ended up dead and at that time i did not know Christ. I think there are instances where a lie needs to be told, especially regarding mental health. That is probably the only time in my life that i thought a lie was necessary. I’d like to know your view on this – would it be worth letting your daughter die if she is unwell and can not think properly? Would it be worth telling the truth to someone who is in severe depression if you know it will push them over the edge?


    1. Hi Selena. Thanks for your kind words regarding this post. Regarding the question of lying in your example (thank you for being so open about that, by the way), one of the things that is a blessing/curse for me is I tend to think in very black and white terms. So shades of grey are sometimes a challenge for me (and a challenge I’m trying to work through).

      Is it worth pushing someone over the edge by telling the truth? Certainly we should do all we can to protect a person’s health and well-being. In your example, would I say your parents were wrong to lie to get you to go to a doctor? No, they knew you were not in a position to be able to think properly about what was going on. They did what they had to do to protect their daughter and I greatly respect that.

      Would it be worth telling the truth to someone who is severely depressed if you know it will push them over the edge? If the intent is to just be a hammer with the truth, no. That’s about as helpful as saying “just quit being depressed.” But if what you’re saying as carefully as possible, that you’re worried and want to help, that might be a good place to start.

      In all honesty, I’m trying to wrestle through being very firm on something that it may not be terribly wise to be very firm on, but my general belief is that before resorting to a lie, we should always try to exhaust all other possibilities first.

      I really appreciate you asking the question. Like I said, I am trying to wrestle with it because the last thing I want to do is put something out there or suggest someone do something that ultimately only harms people. Does that make sense?

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  31. Googled trying to find the verse about God not giving us more than we can handle bc that’s what i needed reassurance of today but came across this. Gives me a new perspective, thanks!

  32. That saying has always irritated me for those very reasons. Thanks for helping to clear up that myth so many people spout as well intentioned biblical truth.

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  34. Pingback: RealTime - Questions: "Why is it when people lie, the liars sometimes get off easier?"

  35. Bro. Aaron, I would like to ask you to give a clear definition of the word πειρασμος. This is the word translated “temptation” in the KJV. Follow the Strong’s Concordance for the number G3986. I believe that you will find that a full understanding of the word includes adversity, trial, provocation and temptation.

    Remember that there is a temptation to give up, give in, and forget to whom you belong. God will not allow you to be tempted beyond that point without providing an escape so that you may endure.


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  37. Christians 4 Christ 101™

    Wood for Hell’s fire & the Lake of Fire hypocrites wallowing in their Cesare Borgia, etc hypocrisies.

  38. I so agree with what you said in the original article. It drives me batty when people say God won’t give me or put on me moreh than they can handle. God doesn’t put anything bad on you!!!!! Thanks. We were talking about this scripture at supper and did not know where it was.

  39. Pingback: More Than I Can Handle « Holy Camp


  41. I would like to thank you for your insight into the true meaning attached to 1 Cor. 10:13. It is with shame that I must confess my own lack of understanding. I feel that I’ve been corrected in my error. Mike

  42. Forgive me.

    I got Challies and Resurgence backwards above.
    Challies is very open to dialog and comments.
    I find no such opening on the Resurgence, but some excellent writing to comment on.

    Since a comment on Spurgeon is impossible there (on a Spurgeon post series) I will comment it here.

    A delightful daily experience with Spurgeon’s words is available at this link:

    The accompanying pictures are often as compelling as the writings. Enjoy.

  43. Hello Aaron,

    In an ethical principle regarding lies, you can not go wrong with being on the side of Truth. No one will dispute that.

    Yet, all of us lie, by commission and omission.
    Indeed, in court, we are told to swear to tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the ruth, so help you God!

    If one swears to tell the truth, why the need for all three swears?

    Because I can clearly tell the truth, but not the whole truth.
    For example, if a women were to ask me “Does this dress make me look fat?”, I could truthfully answer “That dress is YOU, all the way”, despite the dress making her look like an ad for Goodyear’s blimp.

    And “nothing but the truth”?
    Well, I suppose if a group of boys engineered a prank, and everyone was caught EXCEPT the one who carried the prank out, each boy could be queried: “Did YOU do the prank?”
    Truthfully, they would answer “No”.
    But the whole truth could be given by any one of the group boys by exposing the prankster…who everyone knows,…. but the court.

    Thus, we need truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for the Father of all Lies has built an audience to bend truth to death. That would be satan and his influence to encourage us to learn his native language.
    He bent truth to death on Good Friday.

    I entered the examples I chose, not to act as moral guides or principles, but to show that among the greatest liars in the Bible (for whatever reason), the Father chose to retain such people in geneology for the creation of His Son as human. Both David and Rahab are in that mix.

    I mean no foul, no hit, no error to Dorothy; I just do not understand her comment and hope she reengages to expand upon it appropriately.

    Christ did not choose silence at his trial either. He and Pilate exchanged words, and I could look them on Biblegate, but offhand it had to do with His ability to send legions of angels from His kingdom…as a king, but his kingdom is not here. And he added a remark akin to “You say that I am” when Pilate asked if Jesus was a King.

    Imagine Pilate, staring the Way, the Light, the TRUTH, in the eyes, and not recognizing Truth. If he could get that close and fail to recognise truth, I suppose the rest of us are as susceptible to error and deception, and yes….willful lies, …daily. Thank God for Grace!

    It was from hanging around Christ that the Disciples /Apostles became like Him. Indeed, who we hang around largely influences the person we become.

    I constantly remove blogs from my reader, and replace them with Blogs that are more in tune with what I wish to become, not what I currently am.
    That is why your blog is in my RSS and why I comment.

    I thoroughly enjoy the Resurgence as a referral from here too.
    Challies has no area for comment, so I rarely go back, as he seems to prefer dialog with himself. It is hard for me to grow in that manner.

    In comments here, I hope no one reads disparagement of any pastor to whom I refer in any comment. I believe all pastors must put Christ above themselves.
    I get upset with salutations such as “In Jesus Fame” as opposed to “In Jesus Name”. Sometimes, pastors prefer the fame to the name, and some audiences do too. I am not among them.

    Since I have arrived late to this blog, I am grateful for your allowing commentary on long ago posts. I am slowly going back in time to what has been written. Some I agree and some I don’t, but in all cases, a metamorphasis of thought is available to me, and to any others who choose to peruse backward in time here.

    Have a great date with your daughter Aaron.
    My own daughters still talk of our first dates together, and also the standard for men to treat them, as explained by dear old dad.
    One day, I will expand on that since your girl is a tad younger than my own.

    Blessings to you; In Jesus NAME,

  44. Hi Keystone,

    I’m not sure if Dorothy’s comment is related to the exchange between us on “sanctioned lies;” I was also a bit confused, but I wonder if it’s a comment of affirmation for the general message of the post itself? I honestly can’t say for sure.


    There were lots of lies in the story of David and Bathsheba, to be sure, but God also sent the prophet Nathan to confront David with his sin. David wrote Psalm 51 as a prayer of repentance.


    With Rahab, it’s true, her lie is explicit and she’s commended in Hebrews 11:31 for protecting the spies (and is Jesus’ bloodline) but the text itself, being descriptive, doesn’t attach an ethical principle to her actions, it just says she did it.

    All this said, the question of whether or not lying is sometimes ethically permissible has been debated since at least the fourth century by godly believers on either side. Augustine held that it was always wrong to lie, Luther believed it was sometimes necessary.

    While I don’t believe that we should ever lie, I don’t believe that we always need to be candid. Sometimes it’s most appropriate for us to say nothing, as Jesus did during his false trial (see Matt. 26:63). What we say should always be tempered with wisdom.

    For what it’s worth, the one thing I think that everyone on both sides of the debate can agree on is that God never lies (Titus 1:2), and as His people are to be on the side of truth (John 18:37 NIV).

    I’ve really appreciated the back and forth on this, Keystone as it’s given me a lot to think about; I’m grateful for your continued desire to engage on the blog. 🙂

    1. Loved your post Aaron, and I am in full agreement on the subject of God giving us more than we can handle.  Relating to the sub-topic of “white lies”, I would like to simply add that I believe Jesus gave us a new standard, and that is, to look at the spirit of the action (or inaction)… the heart behind the deed.  Similar to the comments Jesus made to the Pharisees regarding their consternation at his healing on the Sabbath, I think that God will judge us on the spirit behind our actions (i.e. Lie or not lie).  Just as Jesus rebuked them for their legalism… ” 
      If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”  Luke 14:5.  This too would be technically sinful, but Jesus was saying that there are times when you make exceptions, looking beyond the action to the spirit of the action… in this case, a man coming face to face with the transforming, healing power of Jesus.  Something to think about anyway.  Thanks, Paul

  45. Dorothy has left a comment of one word: “scripture”.

    Regrettably, I am unable to discern the message.
    Does it refer to the original Everyday Theology seemingly debunked in the Post?
    Does it refer to an end all answer to every question? (That would be neat!)
    Does it refer to Armstrong’s observaion in the preceding comment to Dorothy regarding a “sanctioned lie”?

    It says scripture
    No punctuation to determine if this is a declaration, or a query.
    But the comment follows “sanctioned lie” insight by Armstrong, so I will take a stab at that, in assumption that Dorothy refers to it. If that is not the intent by Dorothy, forgive my lack of discernment to your comment, and please expand what you mean in a new comment.
    Dialog brings us together. Silence separates.

    scripture ….as a source of “santioned lie” is rampant.

    Our Father did a lot of “smiting” in the Old Testament, but not to David for his lie sending Bathsheba’s husband to death. Lots of lies in that story, albeit the “sanction” can only be ascertained by the fact David was not disowned by God, as was, say, Saul.

    But a better example of “sanctioned lie” in Scripture is in Rahab and the Spies. The lie is spelled out explictly. On top of that, she was a prostitute.

    Story and lie?

    Reason to discern it was sanctioned?
    Part of that is in the actual story as the land was being scouted under the guidance of God.

    But a better “sanction”, if you will, from Dorothy’s mention of [scripture] would be in Matthew. In the geneology of Jesus Christ, only four women show up. Matthew 1 lists them all, but check out verse 5 and smile at how God feels when you obey…..even if it involves lying:

  46. I spoke in answer to Blair this day without having previously read the post. That changes things a tad. Perhaps the Biblegateway will prove a better resource than Google, for it searches the Bible in myriad translations.

    But then, I read this in the post:

    “That’s why there’s no such thing as a “white lie”—one that you tell to protect the feelings of someone else. We never lie to make someone else feel better, only to avoid discomfort ourselves. It’s just easier to lie and not deal with the consequences of telling the truth.”

    I am not sure I agree with that.
    During WWII, there were many German families hiding Jews in their attics and hideaway spots. When the pounding on the door came to ask if Jews were within, a pounding of the heart began in German queried and Jew hidden.

    But a lie was invariably told to the SS questioner outside.
    That lie definitely made the Jew feel better as he would survive.
    I would go so far as to say that it was even a “sanctioned” lie…..
    God meant it for good.
    I must investigate these older posts more. 🙂

    1. Hey Keystone, you raise an interesting point, particularly with the notion of the “sanctioned” lie which comes from a whole different angle than what I was talking about in the article (which is more about the stupid nonsense we all lie about all the time).

      I guess the question that comes to mind would be, is a lie told with the best of motivations (like saving the life of another) not still a lie in the sight of God?

      Glad you’ve gone checking out some of the older stuff here 🙂

      1. Exodus 1. The Hebrew midwives lie to Pharaoh to protect newborn males. God rewarded them. Not for the lie, but for protecting the newborns.

  47. I would also add that in the discussion between God and satan, with the phrase:
    “Have you considered my servant Job?”, temptation reenters the mix in a new way.

    Parallel translations make your mind consider many possibilities regarding God and temptation. Indeed, the Tree of Life was an installed temptation as well, but I digress.

    See the Job entries here:

    1. Hi Keystone,

      I just came across with this website and reading the comments, I found yours.
      If possible, I´d like to discuss your idea about God, temptation and the installation of the Tree of Life. 
      Thank you,Gisele

      1. It is 3:43 am in the middle of the night. May 30, 2012.
        I wrote here in 2009, yet you write me in 2012, precisely 3 days ago.  
        I am never in these woods anymore; I read the emails and have little time to comment.  It is a serendipity moment to see your request to me after a lengthy time away.Indeed, I was searching for another post by Aaron to recall what I read and responded on another matter…..info needed now.  I did not locate that, but see your query, Gisele.I must return to find what I originally sought, and failed.This is the place of the topic of your interest. Feel free to make this the place of your query to me.From time to time, I will review bookmark of the article and see if you have chosen to follow through. If so, I will do my best to respond.Since this post is one of Armstrong’s most commented upon, others may add to my limited edition response/insights to what ever is on your mind.Until then, the Lord be with you…….closely, lovingly, and with passion you have yet to know.Blessings,Keystone

        1. Thank you for your reply. I was facing a tough situation and someone told me God will never put you through more than you can handle…which is no biblical…So, I came across this website and saw your comment on God discussion with Satan regarding Job, and the idea that the Tree of Life was an installed temptation and that intrigued me…
          I am always interested on discussions of this kind….

      2. Gisele,
        Please scroll up 2 comments as there is no place to reply to you in Discus format. 
        Your comment holds room for “Like” but no room for “Reply”.  
        So I reply ABOVE your initial comment/request.

        The post and comments are long ago, and I choose to not reread all, but simply delve into your query.

        First, I want to congratulate you, for being loved so much by God, that He would place you in a tough situation. At no time is He not with you on the journey.  YOUR tough situation was HIS tough situation, in moulding and transforming you, toward completeness.  Ya gotta love a God like that. 😀

        There are always three players in situations of life:
        Humans and their nature
        Our Father, Son, and Spirit
        And the demonic.

        You have seen the scales of Lady Justice in court. Whatever is placed on one plate, needs balanced by something of equal value on the other plate to bring “Axios”, Greek for being “worthy”, in balance of one another.

        We try to lessen the downside of suffering on one side of the plate, by adding words of relief to the other side of the plate. Sadly, our words are never in Axios; they are never worthy of the tough situations folks are in daily.

        Humans are of limited mind and hate suffering, and often do not know how to deal with their own, let alone the suffering of others. Job’s friends were abysmal at relieving his pains.  At funerals, I have heard decades after, that one person was miffed royally at the phrase of a friend: “He is in a better place now”.
        But the spouse did not want a “better place”; they wanted their partner with them…to no end ever.  Nothing else would satisfy.
        Removal of the spouse, the lover, the job, the child, whatever the difficulty or loss, is generally best met with silence, and a personal appearance, to let the person know you are there. God is also there, but invisible. 
        You become a visible relief, in your silence.

        Job’s wife had incessant chatter to mock God as loss piled up for Job.
        Remember, satan had asked permission to go after Job, and God gave permission (limited).  
        [Sidebar: this would occur with Peter too when Christ tells him “satan has ASKED permission to sift you”.]  Nobody messes with God’s kids without permission.

        It is apparent that destruction of family, life, goods, job, lifestyle, basically everything, was not enough to break Job’s love of God, as he kept repeating “Blessed be the name of the Lord”.  If physical loss could not make Job abandon God, satan could resort to using a lamenting, chatterer of a wife, insolence of friends and even worse advise…laying blame, for example.

        Job’s axios came from one place; GOD.
        On the other plate of all Job possessed, accrued, loved….stood God.
        He dealt with his trials for he was always in Axios with God.
        His steadfast trust made him “worthy” of our emulation in our trials.

        Then he goofed and challenged God with questions….a human attribute.
        God never answered Job’s questions (note the silence of a friend to a direct question is powerful and effective).
        But we are never in Axios to God, balancing the plates as equals.  He barely touches his thumb on the plate of difficulty we are in, and we lifted anew.
        All of God’s queries to Job deal with GOD, not Job.  And in the process of that talk, Job saw how immense our God is, even more than he perceived prior to trials.

        Read Job all the way through soon again, and look at the players from all angles.  From God’s perspective, from satan’s view, from human view (all the folks in the story). You do not get a three dimensional view over a two dimension view, but rather a four or more dimension view, since God is in the mix. He is OUTSIDE of time; we are INSIDE the dimension of time.

        I switch quickly to the Tree of Life. Grace and Peace were abundant in the Garden, and all needs fulfilled. Many people miss this story’s depth. Read Genesis 3 again to update your knowledge of our God, especially His love when we have trials (generally made by our own natures).

        “Don’t eat from the Tree in the Center of the Garden” (off the top of my head; not researched).  Had Adam and Eve NOT done so, surely one of the next 7 billion created humans would do the deed…leading us to sin in our lives…all of us.

        Had the Tree of Life NOT been installed, no struggle, no temptation, no evil would ensue, as the garden was perfection.  Joni Mitchell sings of this at Woodstock with “We are stardust, we are golden….and we’ve got to get our way back to the Garden”.
        Everyone knows those words, but often forget her interior words: 
        “we are caught in the devil’s bargain”. Lots of wisdom in that song.

        Quickly now, let us see God’s action.
        The fruit was eaten by Adam and Eve. (The end of this story has God uttering (Genesis 3:22) “The man has now become like one of US, knowing good and evil.  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”.

        In this story, we so far have a creation of Adam, Eve, a serpent, and GOD.
        Notice He says “The man has become like one of US”.  
        Who do you think He is talking to, since all players created, are missing there?  
        This is a gem to understand.

        And another angle from this Tree of Life business….and our sufferings.

        Adam and Eve ate.  God comes looking.  They are ashamed and sew fig leaves to cover their nudity.  “Who told you you were naked?” God bellows.  
        (Remember this…the story goes on)
        Now sin is in the Garden and eviction is underway. 
        God sees them clothed in fig leaves.  The jig is up.

        V.21 is astonishing:
        “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them”.

        WHAT a GOD of love!

        In the Garden, nudity sufficed, and life went on.
        Caught and ashamed, the characters revert to a hasty fig leaf creation of clothes.
        But God knows that outside the garden, with knowledge of good and evil, life will be so treacherous, so filled with angst by all, so troubled at every turn by every person, He tenderly exposed a glimpse of love here.

        Fig leaves will never do; they (Adam and Eve) would perish.
        God HIMSELF made garments of skin….while He is thoroughly ticked off at both people….to protect them in an environment that neither can perceive the perilous nature they have entered. 
        (Too bad you PETA people; God made animal skins to protect his people, made in HIS image).

        God now drives them out of the Garden, places a cherubim with flaming sword to prevent re-entry to the Garden and …the TREE of LIFE! (last verse) 3:24

        Life is in the Garden WITH God.  And, He clearly wants us with Him, even aiding life in the bad elements by hand making garments, not fig leaves for protection.

        To staff heaven with those who love, and love unconditionally (like Job), there has to be a possible choice to NOT love, to turn away, to reject God.  Given the Free Will, we all have that choice to make.  Suffering and trials are a direct evolution from making the difficult choice to love…love God!

        Jesus in his Garden of Gethsemane asked the Father “If it IS possible to take away the cup”.  He stops, and checks on the sleeping (supposed to be praying) disciples. 
        He returns to the Father and now says “If it is NOT possible that this cup be removed”.

        The Gospels report this differently and only Luke notes a happenstance between these two moments of anguish.  Luke 22:43 says “An angel from heaven appeared to Him and STRENGTHENED Him”.
        None of the other Gospels give this glimpse of how God works in our struggles, our tough times, our greatest “needs” moments.

        AND, an angel strengthened Him in the beginning of ministry, after the desert trial with satan again.

        “I saw satan fall from Heaven like a bolt of lightning” witnessed Jesus Christ.  
        1/3 of the angels got booted out too.  The good news??
         2/3 are on our side.

        In your tough times, in your struggles, in your human nature to escape, avoid, run, cover, be shamed, or in times when satan is making havoc, God’s ministering angels are available to all of us.  HE is not needed in full on the scale for Axios, to make us worthy, ….just his thoughts, help, angels, consideration of our need…and the scales balance.

        Even Daniel is told by Archangel Michael that Daniel’s prayers were answered THE FIRST day…some resistance held it up 3 weeks….while Daniel continued prayer.
        Angels are available to us in struggles, and tough times. Ask Daniel!

        Trials are God’s way of saying “I love you so deeply, Gisele, NOTHING can separate us, I will never abandon you, Gisele!”.  “Remember that. Keep your eyes on ME”. 
        We tend to forget God when things are going swell.  
        Remember that and give praise always.

        I am not a Biblical scholar, I am just a dad.  
        I do not have the answers you seek, Gisele.
        But as a Dad, I have a hunch on how Our Heavenly Dad feels about his kids.
        He loves my own children more than I do, and I can not conceive that.

        See you in heaven Gisele!  😀

        God bless you abundantly, especially with your trials in life.

  48. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    Don’t use Google for Bible stuff. Google Biblegateway and use their search engine. Here:


    Use the drop down box in the upper right and get any translation (King James, NIV, etc.) you may want.

    In ESV, that passage says:

    “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

    Blessings to you and pleasant discoveries all years.


  49. I’ve got a question for the author. Where does Paul write that God doesn’t tempt us beyond our ability? The verse you gave here doesn’t imply that idea. I remember hearing a sermon that agrees with you (as do I), but today I couldn’t remember the reference in Paul’s letters where he states that God won’t tempt us beyond our ability, so I googled it. 🙂 However, that verse isn’t mentioned here. Could you point me in the right direction?

    1. Hi Blair – thanks for the feedback. The verse, as Keystone mentioned is 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reference is in the article, but it’s buried a bit in the text. I should really edit that…

      Thanks again!

  50. I totally agree with this article. I hear people say this saying all the time and it drives me insane. It is not scripture but people think it is. Sad to say, they have it all wrong. I thought that also years ago until it was reveiled to me. I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me (emphasis mine). Eyes off of you, ALL glory on the Lord. In our weakness, we seek, rely & trust Him.

    1. Grace, thanks for your comment and emphasizing that great truth that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Reading that today was actually a timely reminder for me, so thanks again.

    2. Great message. I’ve always been confused when I hear people misquote that scripture because I’ve always said the opposite. God alway gives us more than we can handle. Until we admit that we are unable to handle it, then sumit, and give it over to God who can. I always felt like trials beat us down, and down, and down again until we give up our own will, look up and say, “Ok. I get it.” Only when we surrender to Him can we experience the joy of belonging to Him. As children of God, we have trust in the challenges we face. This confidence never comes from within ourselves. But when we believe Him and rely on His Word, instead of our own or other’s feelings, the Holy Spirit guides us and gives us the ability and courage to accomplish His will. God never tells us to do anything without giving us the ability to do it. We might not want to do it or feel like it, bedause it might seem impossible. But it’s not about what we want. I want what He wants. So if it doesn’t seem possible and I can’t handle it, I trust that I am able to through Christ who strengthens me.

  51. I totally agree with this article. I hear people say this saying all the time and it drives me insane. It is not a scripture but people think it is. Sad to say, they have it all wrong. I thought that also years ago until it was reveiled to me. I can do all things THROUGH Christ who strengthens me (emphasis mine). Eyes off of you, ALL glory on the Lord. In our weakness, we seek, rely & trust Him.

  52. I just love your style of writting and it is very thought provoking so keep up the good work.

    I still am not sure of the argument though. The idea that we are dead and our life is hid with God would seem that we can handle anything including death.

    The fact that Paul despaired of life does not imply that he did not already consider himself dead to the flesh. When he talks about not being able to bear it, is is possible he was talking about his physical body. He obviously was able to bear it on a spiritual level.

    Instead of giving thanks in all things, the argument seems to imply that we are justified in complaining about our circumstances. I don’t think Paul ever complained; however, he did share his experiences.

    The basic idea in the NT is that we participate in the nature of God. God’s power works through us. God’s power motivates us. God’s love compels us…etc… For a Christian, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me is what Paul said.

    Just a few thoughts…

    1. Good thoughts here, Denny. I didn’t even see that interpretation coming out of what I wrote (that we’re justified in complaining, because we’re most certainly not).

  53. I landed here today from a Twitter RT. I NEEDED to hear this today. Thanks for keeping it real and speaking hard truth.

  54. You made great points in this article! The saying that God doesn’t give you anymore than you can handle is exactly opposite of what we read in Scriputre. For example, in order to show his power and love, God brought the Israelites up to the Red Sea while they were on the run from their enemies. God could have taken them by another route but instead he brought them to an impossible situation for them to show that his power is always more than enough. His power parted the sea. Gideon had to reduce his army so that God’s power could be shown in defeating his enemies. In your own life, whenever you get a dire situation that has no way out –be glad. It now means that God is going to show you his power! Step back because now something big is about to happen!

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