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God Won’t Put More on You Than You Can Bear

(43)

Sermon shared by David Dykes

August 2012
Summary: This misquote is usually spoken out of kindness, but it can cause great confusion and guilt. God WILL sometimes allow you to suffer more than you can bear--but that’s okay, because His grace is sufficient!
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.” God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. I can assure you when you are tempted to cheat, steal, commit adultery, worry, or murder, you can never say, “Sorry, God, that temptation was just more than I could endure.” God always makes a way to escape temptation. But can you say “God won’t put more temptation on you than you can bear?” No, because the Bible clearly says God never tempts us. “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” (James 1:13)

So if you have a friend who struggles with lust, and he’s leaving on a business trip it is appropriate to say, “Just remember, friend, God won’t allow you to be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear, so resist the temptation!” If you ever hear anyone say they gave into temptation because it was more than they could bear, you know they’re lying.

But I’ve never heard people share this psuedo-scripture when someone is facing temptation. It’s usually quoted when someone is in the midst of painful trouble. That trouble may be in the form of emotional, physical, spiritual, or relational pain. Let’s carefully consider this question “Will you ever experience trouble, stress, or pressure that is more than you can bear?” I’d like to offer four observations about the statement, “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.”

I. FOLLOWERS OF JESUS MAY EXPERIENCE UNBEARABLE PRESSURE

Most of us would agree Paul was a true follower of Jesus. But we learn this man who was “in Christ” sometimes faced trouble and pressure so severe he couldn’t bear it–or at least he couldn’t bear it alone. Here is his amazing confession found in II Corinthians 1:8-10, We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships (thilipsis) we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us with your prayers.”

Paul could stand here today and say, “I’ve faced so much pain, so much pressure and hardship in my life as a Christian that I finally had to admit that as a sufferer I was powerless to help myself. I once heard the expression ‘God won’t put more on you than you can bear.’ That’s not true. There have been times I’ve been so burdened down with the weight of problems and despair I couldn’t bear it. I wouldn’t even be here today if God hadn’t delivered me.” In II Corinthians 11:24-28 he recounts some of the troubles he faced: Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three
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