I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “God won’t put more on you than you can bear.” It sounds good. It sounds like something God might say. Perhaps you’ve repeated it when trying to encourage others. 

There’s only one problem with it. It’s a myth.

In 2 Corinthians 1:8, Paul writes about the terrible situation he was in: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life.” How bad was it, Paul? Verse 9 continues: “Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves…” Yeah, it was bad. Real bad. 

Yeah, it was bad. Real bad. 

Did you notice the phrase “beyond our strength”? In other words, the circumstances were beyond their capacity to bear. They couldn’t take any more. Paul’s saying that God has put more on them than they could handle. You and I have, if we are honest with ourselves, felt like that sometimes.

But Paul did not despair, for he understood that these trials were not the end of the story. They were an invitation to a greater trust in God. In the middle of his circumstances, Paul knew he needed to quit focusing on the trials and start focusing on trust. God had put Paul in a situation that Paul could not fix. Though he was a talented and capable guy, this was a set of circumstances where nothing in his resume could help him out. 

God had put Paul in a situation that Paul could not fix.

Paul says that, yes, God put more on him than he could handle. But that wasn’t the whole story. Though he could not handle his problems, God could. Therefore, the challenges were not an invitation to despair. They were an invitation to a greater trust in God.

Check out more from Dr. Tony Evans @tonyevans.org

About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans

Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.


At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.


Dr. Evans serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God. His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 850 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 80 countries.


Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books includes, Kingdom Man, A Moment For Your Soul, Marriage Matters, and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.



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