What, God never gives us more than we can handle?


#1

I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.


#2

I wish I could offer more words of solice, but if you would, please listen to the following:
The Problem of Pain
A Grief Observed

God Bless,
RyanL


#3

[quote=tazbytes]I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.
[/quote]

“God never hands us more than we can handle”
“Suffering happens for a reason”

I agree these sayings are empty platitudes. What we do have is a God who understands our suffering and is there for us and who can mysteriously make some good come of suffering. If revelation proves me wrong, I’ll change my stance of necessity.

just my opinion


#4

What I’m about to write may seem trite or unrelated, but trust me, it is true.

One of the major themes of The Lord of the Rings (which is really a book about the spiritual journey) is that God does allow things in our lives we cannot handle. The question is: Why? Right?

It may be cold comfort for many but the answer is that in his loving plan for us all some of us are going to suffer more than others, some so much they cannot deal with it. What does this mean?

It means that others must take up the slack and help those in such trouble. It also means that we cannot and should not think that God is going to bale us out of our problems. He is going to be ruthless on us in order to shape us into what he thinks is best for us. Now, that is real love–not the gooey substitute people want in which nothing happens that we can’t come out of standing on our own two feet, shaking triumphant fists at our woes.

Love means being in love–broken by love, shaped by love, driven by love, devoured by love. It doesn’t mean that everything will work out as we would like or might expect. We only have to look at the Crucified to see that this is true.


#5

[quote=tazbytes]I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.
[/quote]

As humans, I think that we need to rationalize experiences, whether good or bad, whether explainable or unexplainable (for example, if you survive a car crash then God was watching out for you; but what about those who do not survive? Was God NOT watching out for them?) and shift accountability, whether it is toward us or to God. I do NOT buy into “God does not give you more than you can handle” or “Suffering happens for a reason.” For the first issue, the depiction is of a God short on empathy and mercy as well as a God who plays favorites. For the second issue, suffering can be meaningless unless we choose to apply a lesson to it or use it as a way to make lemonade from the lemon, and in the process give glory to God.

In his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” author Rabbi Kushner says that the question to asks is not “Why me?” but rather “Okay, now that this is happened, what am I going to do about it?” I am guilty of self-pity, but try to institute a more responsive role when events occur beyond my comprehension (although I fail more than I succeed).


#6

I always thought the saying had to do with reassurance.

God never gives us more than we can handle…because He is with us to help carry the load. He will see us through whatever it is we are dealing with.

To be human, and American, imo, is to be self-sufficient. It is very difficult for us to lean on anyone else, depend on someone else, and a life led that way can become ‘more’ than we can handle because we were never designed to be alone. God made us, male and female, to help each other, support each other.

Yes, God doesn’t give us anything bad, we are subjected to bad things from uncharitable people/policies and sometimes we bring bad things upon ourselves…the point is we need only to call on Him during our trials so that we may feel His presence, His love, His support as we face the challenges ahead. We can handle anything with God. Certainly not alone.

As for suffering having a reason, of course it does, look at Christ’s death. That isn’t to say suffering is justified, that certain people deserve to suffer, or brought on their own suffering. Mankind brought suffering into this world with the original Fall, since then, God has taken our sufferings and done good things through them and He has given Himself to each of us to take on our burdens with us, to help us through.


#7

[quote=tazbytes]I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.
[/quote]

I think what is meant is that in order to perfect us, He will allow us to endure trials, tribulations etc…

We can of course give up. But, it is nothing we cant handle if we trust in Him.

In Christ.

Andre.


#8

[quote=tazbytes]I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.
[/quote]

**1 Corinthians 10:13
**13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

The Gk word translated “temptation” is also translated “trial.” IOW, trials should be considered as well, as in seen in James.

So it is not a worldly saying, but scriptural.

See also, Rom 8:28; Jas 1:2-4.


#9

[quote=sandusky]**1 Corinthians 10:13
**13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

The Gk word translated “temptation” is also translated “trial.” IOW, trials should be considered as well, as in seen in James.

So it is not a worldly saying, but scriptural.

See also, Rom 8:28; Jas 1:2-4.
[/quote]

A way of escape but not a panacea for all our ills. Many people think that the way of escape means fleeing from a bad situation into perfect happiness, but it doesn’t say that nor imply that. Sometimes the escape is into another situation that is just as bad if not worse, but which certainly takes one’s mind off the other situation. God’s ways are not our ways. He never promised we wouldn’t suffer, indeed he promised us just the opposite.


#10

Some people like to/or want to believe that God will never let us get into a situation where we are suffering a great deal. My first thought is, since when have we ever suffered as Our Lord did for us? Can we ever claim to match that suffering?

Regardless of what some people preach, Christianity has always had both great joy and great suffering.

Consider this often ignored passage of Hebrews chapter 11 which most folks know as “the faith chapter”.

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, denied himself to be the son of Pharao’s daughter; 25 Rather choosing to be afflicted with the people of God, than to have the pleasure of sin for a time,

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure of the Egyptians. For he looked unto the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the fierceness of the king: for he endured as seeing him that is invisible. 28 By faith he celebrated the pasch, and the shedding of the blood; that he, who destroyed the firstborn, might not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as by dry land: which the Egyptians attempting, were swallowed up. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, by the going round them seven days.

31 By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with the unbelievers, receiving the spies with peace. 32 And what shall I yet say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, Barac, Samson, Jephthe, David, Samuel, and the prophets: 33 Who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, put to flight the armies of foreigners: 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. But others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection.

36 And others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons. 37 They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted: 38 Of whom the world was not worthy; wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caved of the earth. 39 And all these being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise; 40 God providing some better thing for us, that they should not be perfected without us. (Emphasis mine)

And then Chapter 12:
1 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: 2 Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds. 4 For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:

and further in Romans 8:31-39:

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us? 32 He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? 33 Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?

36 (As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) 37 But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There’s a lot more I could cite but I think you all get my point. Suffering comes with the turf, both in life in general and especially in following Our Lord. Do we suffer? Most definately! Are we abandoned by Him? NEVER!
Pax vobiscum,


#11

[quote=tazbytes]I have always been very troubled when I hear, “God never hands us more than we can handle” You hear this all the time in reference to suffering. Since God is pure love goodness I don’t believe that He is wants to or is even capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon us. God allows us to exist in this imperfect world and allows us to be subject to our imperfections often causing much suffering. There are many times when people get more than they can handle. My own mother, with a strong catholic faith, tried to commit suicide because of some terrible events in her life that were just to much. You see this all the time in people around you that receive to much pain, suffering and it destroys them mentally and physically many times permanently.

God did not hand this to them so why do we continually say this. “Suffering happens for a reason” this is another common saying. This notion causes people to be angry at God who is all loving and only wants to help us and continually tries to comfort us. Suffering happens because we are subject to weakness, imperfection, and nature itself. Jesus himself was subject to these things and suffered greatly. God can help us through these trials and make us stronger using our suffering to save ourselves and others. Often accepting suffering allows God to work in us and through us.

I think we need to be more sensitive when we talk about this subject to others. When we use those phrases it can cause a lot of confusion.
[/quote]

I agree that such platitudes rarely offer any kind of real comfort to a suffering person. It is much more helpful to simply encourage in the faith someone in a difficult situation by offering to help them get to Mass and offering to help them in daily tasks. Just sitting silently with them while they grieve, listening when they need to talk, these are things that will be remembered and are a way to be “Jesus with skin on” for a friend who is hurting.

The undeniable truth of the matter, though, is that suffering does happen for a reason. God is sovereign, and stuff doesn’t “just happen” without His knowledge and permission. Helping someone else cultivate a trust in God’s goodness can make you a positive influence in their life. You just have to avoid appearing banal and insincere.


#12

I have read a lot of good comments so far. A few have mentioned that bad things happen for a reason. I just don’t buy that and that idea is hard to sell to people. I agree that God can bring good out of suffering when these things happen, sometimes not always visible in the physical sense. I think you would all agree that most of the time bad things just happen because of our imperfections or bad choices. God can use those as opportunities to help us grow if we are open to him and even then we may fail. I believe suffering has great value as Jesus showed us. But to say, you are suffering for a reason is too hard for most to swallow. How about searching and asking God to help us find meaning and strength in our suffering. How about accepting weakness and suffering and offering it to God and asking for help and knowing that He did not give this to us (He may have allowed it) but that He wants to help.


#13

I can hardly handle my “cross” of attention deficit disorder and a reading comprehension problem. THAT right there is the limit. I personally think our Lord “overdid” with that “cross” but He knows I can deal with it as long as I keep my “eyes on Him” :smiley:


#14

[quote=tazbytes]I think you would all agree that most of the time bad things just happen because of our imperfections or bad choices.
[/quote]

Agreed. MOST bad things are our own doing.

But to say, you are suffering for a reason is too hard for most to swallow.

I find that phrase is used mostly with people who already have a personal relationship with Christ, though. If I know the person suffering is a regular church goer, does many works for the poor and needy, is always charitble and giving, sings in the choir and all…then the ‘suffering for a reason’ is all that needs to be said - it is a gentle reminder of the Truth they already know, but perhpas forgot for a moment as they were complaining.

Now, to say the phrase to a non-Catholic or non-devout Christian, then I’d see how it would be difficult to swallow since they have no clue about how that works. This is why after saying it’s for a reason one would want to follow up with your other fine points - about searching and asking God to help, etc.


#15

[quote=tazbytes]I have read a lot of good comments so far. A few have mentioned that bad things happen for a reason. I just don’t buy that and that idea is hard to sell to people. I agree that God can bring good out of suffering when these things happen, sometimes not always visible in the physical sense. I think you would all agree that most of the time bad things just happen because of our imperfections or bad choices. God can use those as opportunities to help us grow if we are open to him and even then we may fail. I believe suffering has great value as Jesus showed us. But to say, you are suffering for a reason is too hard for most to swallow. How about searching and asking God to help us find meaning and strength in our suffering. How about accepting weakness and suffering and offering it to God and asking for help and knowing that He did not give this to us (He may have allowed it) but that He wants to help.
[/quote]

Couldn’t this be true: 1) Bad things happen because of our sin, stupidity, et. 2) God brings good out of this evil 3) That greater good then becomes the “reason” for our suffering.

It seems you are saying that “it happens for a reason” would have to mean that it isn’t a result of our imperfectness.

Seems to me, the reason for every bit of our suffering could certainly be the good that results for the whole Body of Christ when we unite our sufferings with His, "offering them up."
Peace.
John


#16

[quote=john ennis]Couldn’t this be true: 1) Bad things happen because of our sin, stupidity, et. 2) God brings good out of this evil 3) That greater good then becomes the “reason” for our suffering.

It seems you are saying that “it happens for a reason” would have to mean that it isn’t a result of our imperfectness.

Seems to me, the reason for every bit of our suffering could certainly be the good that results for the whole Body of Christ when we unite our sufferings with His, "offering them up."
Peace.
John
[/quote]

We assign a REASON to what has happened. Perhaps we assign blame or we ask “Okay, now that this has happened what am I going to do about it?” The latter implies observance of faith and trust in God and willingness to overcome.


#17

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