More Than You Can Handle

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.  – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

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

You’ve heard that said many times, I’m sure—maybe even have said it yourself. The words are meant to comfort someone going through a difficult time.

But it isn’t true.

Gasp! What?

Doesn’t the Bible say God won’t allow a something to be more than we can stand? You may cite 1 Corinthians 10:13. But that verse says God won’t allow a temptation to be more than we can endure—temptation, not trial. There’s a difference.

Trials and tribulations are the hard times we go through, the times when we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Temptations are enticements to do wrong, to sin.

Trials, tribulations and temptations are all times of testing. Therein lies the confusion.

The Bible doesn’t tell us that God won’t give us any more hard times than we can endure. At times He does. Think about grief, loss, betrayal.

What does the Word tell us, then?

That troubles will come: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jesus, as quoted in John 16:33).

To “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

To pray about it. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15).

Jesus Himself invites us to come to Him with our heavy burdens and He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28).

Oh, I could go on and on and on, citing Scripture.

But did you notice something about every Scripture I did quote?

Read the second part: God cares, delivers, overcomes, guards, gives rest.

Relief, strength, and victory come from God alone. Not our striving. Not our wit and wisdom. Not our own ingenuity.

Much is said and written about self-help. About overcoming in our own strength. About pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. About independence. We pride ourselves on how we can overcome difficulty without anyone’s help.

But we were never meant to be independent of our Creator. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

When Joshua stepped into Moses’ sandals, he faced an overwhelming task: Lead the Israelites in battle to conquer the Promised Land.

Yikes! They faced crossing a river at flood stage, taking walled cities, and facing the giants of the land (the Anakim).

In short, it was a tall order—an impossible feat—without the help of El Shaddai.

And that’s what God wants us to realize as we face our Anakim, when we’re up to our necks in a flood-stage torrent, when we stare at a stubborn wall we can’t get through.

That with His help, we can do all things, but only through Him who gives us the wisdom, strength, and power to do so (Philippians 4:13).

He wants you to depend on Him.

Do you?

As I lift my eyes to the imposing and impossible mountain before me, remind me that my help comes from You. Help me to depend on You to overcome. Amen.

More tea: Read Joshua 1:1–9. The Psalms are excellent to read when facing the giants, especially Psalms 42 and 121.

True to plumb

"Plumb line on sandstone wall" by P. W. Hatcher (
“Plumb line on sandstone wall” by P. W. Hatcher (

I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people. – Amos 7:8 (NKJV)

“An army of the world’s top climatologist agree: man-made global warming is a fraud.”

I clicked the link to read the article then googled the subject. A whole slew of articles popped up addressing the topic, some claiming man-made global warming is a scam, others insisting climate warming is, indeed, due to human activities.

Who to believe?

It’s like the “eggs are bad/good for you” debate. It seems for every theory, there’s an opposing one. Both sides use scientific studies to back their claims.

But theories change, don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but I want to build my life on something that doesn’t change.

What doesn’t change?


But how do we know what’s true and what’s false? What basis do we use?

Me, I use the Bible.

There are those, I know, who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that it’s relevant to us today. It’s like the global warming controversy and the debate over whether a certain food is good or bad for the human body. We look at the argument on both sides and choose.

I choose to believe the Bible is the Word of God and use it as the rock upon which I build my life-house.


First, because the Bible shows us our Creator’s standards. Like a plumb line. When a wall is built to standard and is straight, it’s said to be “true to plumb.” If it isn’t, it’s “out of plumb.”

“You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself,” sang the late Rick Nelson in his hit song “Garden Party.” That might sound like a good philosophy, but think about it: What would the world be like if each person’s main focus was to please himself first, and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)? We’d be out of plumb.

Second, the Bible, unlike man’s theories, is enduring. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). I want a life based on something that isn’t fickle, something that won’t change with every new study or theory.

Third, because God’s Word is enlightening, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It gives me guidance, wisdom and knowledge. It lights my way in a world that’s getting darker and darker, clearing up the confusion that often besets me as I travel life’s road.

Fourth, because God’s Word is effective. God Himself said His Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish all that He desires for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:10–11). It’s living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword and penetrates to the hidden places in our beings—our thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12)—the very places that need changed and cleansed.

And finally (not finally really, but finally for the sake of brevity), God’s Word teaches us what is true and to do what is right. It makes us realize what’s wrong with our lives and how to correct it (2 Timothy 3:16).

Either we’re “out of plumb” or “true to plumb.”

Which are you?

Help me, O Lord, to be true to plumb. Amen.

More tea: Read Amos 7:7–15; Luke 6:46–49


For your convenience, I’ve added links to the Bible verses so you can read the verses referenced. Simply click on the Scripture reference (which is underlined). The Scripture will appear in a new window.

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God bless you. Have a great week!