Why is Life so Hard if God Won’t Allow More Than I Can Handle?

By Lisa Copen:

Why is life so hard?


Over and over I have heard the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But what about the pain. . . the grief. . . the depression. . . the darkness? It is more than we can handle. Much more. There are days that we wonder, is life worth living if we have to get up every day and fight to be strong?

We look enviously at others who seem to not struggle and wonder why God seems to bless those that can handle so little, and curse those of us who are so strong.

As I have dealt with the physical and emotional losses since my twenties when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I have heard this cliche answer from the stranger at the store to my pastor who was grasping to instill encouragement at my hospital bedside.

Have you noticed how people ask, “So, how are you?” and no matter how badly things are, and how honest you may be with them, their answer is, “Well, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”? In other words, buck up! Hang in there! Find something to get your mind off of it. Get out of the house. Don’t worry because God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

It feels like they are saying, “Obviously you aren’t handling life’s challenges nearly as well as I am.”

Let me tell you something that may come as a surprise. God does give us more than we can handle. Every day He may place us in the position where the pain is too much to bear. Why? Because we were never meant to do this life without Him! He gives you more than you can handle–but not how much you and He–together–can handle.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” And Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we were not created to do this life on our own. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We do not have to be strong on our own.

There will be days when you may wake up and think, I can’t do this. I cannot keep living this way. Why is life worth living if I can’t meet the expectations of others or even myself? I cannot figure out how to get rid of this darkness that haunts me.

There are no simple answers, except to speak to God about it. You were designed to need to turn to Him a million times a day. God does give you more than you can handle because you were never meant to handle it.

In the video below, vocal artist Matthew West, speaks to a young girl who has experienced 13 surgeries due to one car accident. Her mom tried to encourage her by telling her God wouldn’t give her more than she could handle. Her response–and her journey–became the inspiration for song, “Strong Enough,” which is also included in the video.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

On days you are wondering Why is life so hard?  visit Finding God Daily. There you will find stories from many who have overcome great obstacles with God’s help.

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  1. I could not agree more Lisa. As a 3 time cancer survivor who has also experienced the loss of 5 children, I am passionate about telling people that God WILL give us more than we can handle. I believe that God will allow us to be stretched beyond our human capabilities in order to show us our need for Him, to deepen our faith, and to show us that HIS strength is limitless!

    • Thank you Lisa. And thank you Erica for writing what i have been feeling lately. I have severe fibromyalgia, but lately ive been realising if I never got ill, I never would have had to sincerely search for God, and lean on jesus like I am now.

  2. I too am fighting what could be described as a losing battle and do not understand why GOD has left me here. I too say GOD will not put more on us than we can bear but the rest of it says but with that tempetation HE will make a way for our escape. Maybe we need to consentrate on the escape way which is CHRIST JESUS and not so much on our troubles. Maybe just maybe HE wants us to completely turn our lives over to HIS contro; and obey HIM in all things. Just saying. GOD Bless everyone.

  3. Thanks to all of you who have shared your hearts. I have an inkling of trying to understand questioning why God allows us to have multiple sufferings. sometimes just “maintaining” life seems like a full time job and celebrations always seem to be interrupted by these challenge. I so miss the carefreeness of life before illness, but I have not known anything else for nearly 20 years. You are all special to God, however, and your appreciation of the little things in life are so much greater than most will every experience. I know it doesn’t seem fair. but that is what prayer—and fellowship with people like you–is for. bless you, Lisa

    • I too know what a long-term illness feels like. I’m now disabled. But we’re made much more stronger, loving, intuitive and kinder because of it.

  4. In the midst of turmoil, I felt lost. I thought..Why is life so hard? I had just tried to sort out a financial issue when it occurred to me to just type in “Why is life so hard?” It was the very first thing GOOGLE started to recommend as a topic. Crazy. It is hard.But I do believe the comments here are true. Life is hard because we ase in a fallen world and without God, we feel like we can’t make it. Next time instead of typing a search in Google, I will bow my head in prayer and thank God He is always with me. I will pray He will give me courage and keep the fire of hope burning inside me. Thank you for this story and for this tesimony, and for the wonderful song. I have heard others by Matthew but not this one. Bless you!

    • Thank you very much for your sharing. Angel. I feel so depressed and painful these days. Lots of difficulties in my job over the years (I am the only bread earner of a family of five, by the way) and my daughter is sick recently. I just cannot understand why God, who loves me so much, put me in such a difficult situation for these years. I just did what you did before–Google “Why is life so hard”, and get into this website. I cannot agree with you more. We are living in a fallen world full of sin. All the difficulties should (and will) move us closer to HIM, our creator and savior. He never forgets me and never forsakes me. I need to bow down and pray to HIM. He is worthy of our praise. Those who have hope in the Lord will renew their strength. I can’t make it, but He can. God Bless You All.

  5. Angel, oh, thanks so much for writing. It are comments like this that make me want to keep writing even in my own trials and pain. You have encouraged me today and I thank you for taking the time to comment. I am sorry you are going through a difficult time–and financial issues can be extra stressful! I am sending up a prayer right now just for you and I hope that the day improves. God bless, lisa

  6. How do I make that leap of faith, I am still angry for the loss of my husband. I was t angry when my 1st child fought off a terrible heart infection, I wasn’t angry when I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, nor was I angry when my husband was broadsided at 50mph. We fought hard to survive these tragedies but why did my husband have to drown in a drainage ditch? Another no fault if his car accident. My daughter then at 21 had a heart attack. I am mentally, fiscally and financially broke with a 16 year old daughter still at home. I want to believe he will take care of us but how?

    • ThinkingAboutSuicide.com says:

      Laurie, you have truly had so many heartaches. It is hard to imagine all you have been through. It may seem hard to believe that God can still help you and heal your heart, but I honestly believe he can. Many of the women who write for us have been through terrible circumstances too, yet pulled through–I will ask some of them to respond to you too. Please don’t give up! Your daughter has a lifetime ahead of needing you. Did your first child survive that heart infection? And now you have survived cancer? Did your 21 year old survive her heart attack, or have you lost her as well? Look at opportunities to praise God for what you have survived, and keep asking him to comfort you in your losses.

      Most critical is in having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He alone can give you a peace that is beyond understanding even in the most disastrous of circumstances. I have experienced that myself when I have had terrible losses, including my own father killed in a traffic accident.

      To find out more about Christ and read letters from people who have also experienced serious troubles, we hope you will visit GodTest.com and in the meantime I will be praying for you, plus will lift you up in prayer with over 200 other women in a prayer group I am in.

      My name too is Laurie.

  7. Oh Laurie, how my heart aches for you in these losses you’ve had to endure! The enemy does not stop pummelling sometimes, & it seems you are in his cross hairs! And it stinks! Please know I am praying for you, that you are able to catch glimpses of God’s love for you amidst the rubble. I don’t know why you are having to go thru all the pain & heartache you’ve experienced, but I do know God knows, & He knows best. Please know you are being lifted to His throne, right now, & in the days to come.

    • ThinkingAboutSuicide.com says:

      Cyn, thanks so much for taking time to encourage our site visitor who is struggling with the loss of her husband, and who has had so many other struggles as well. We appreciate your thoughtfulness and caring.

  8. “If God didn’t give us more than we could handle, what would we need God for?”

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      Amen to that! God can be trusted to get through our pain and heartache! Just follow him one day, one step at a time.

  9. For months now life keeps challenging me on a daily basis beyond what I feel I can cope with. No sooner have I stood up strong and solved one problem, another one appears that requires everything I have to work through it. All the problems have come from other people making a mistake that has affected my life. I feel I have already been challenged more than enough over the last twenty years and I struggle to understand why when you work so hard in life, give so much and help people, that when you just want to rest your head for a while, the world doesn’t let you.

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      As a member of the still living on earth society, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes you just have to wonder when you’ll catch a break from your worries, or at least get a nice long rest.
      And you’re right that this earth isn’t heaven, and heaven is something we all long for. But we shouldn’t be in a rush to go, until it’s our turn, which should never be at our own hand.
      Think about the what if’s…

      — What if your departure…
      Hurt your children or other family members.
      Devastated a friend. (yes you are loved and needed more than you know.)
      Came before you made your peace with God. See: http://www.GodTest.com to see what I’m talking about.
      Caused someone you love to get depressed and take their own life — before they had made their peace with God.
      Caused you to miss an important purpose you’ve yet to complete for the Lord?
      Caused you not be be where God needed you to prevent something or to help someone?
      Kept you from getting stronger, so you could find joy again?

      That’s a lot to think about. So, let’s think about this…

      Sure, life can be tough. (That’s something I know first hand.)
      However, I can find rest as I learn to trust God through my problems. My favorite prayer is to tell God:
      Here’s a new problem for you to manage. I declare it’s now your problem, and I will trust you through it.

      The beauty of a prayer like this is it helps to take the burden of solving the problem off your shoulders and puts it on God. God loves this prayer! God loves to carry our burdens.

      I also like to pray: God I don’t feel joy, but I choose joy.

      This prayer helps a lot, especially as I remind myself that I can relax, even in and through my problems, enough to enjoy the blessings God has given me.

      Yes, God has given me blessings! And YOU too! If you don’t believe me, start counting them. If you are depressed, they may be hard to see or even believe, but do the exercise anyway and even thank God for random things. (Thank you God that the sun is shining, or that I got a couple hours sleep last night, not as much as I wanted, but still I did rest. etc…)

      Now the last thing I would like to suggest is that you do kind things for yourself. Get out in the sunshine and take a walk. Sneak in a nap. Go to church. Call a friend. Invite someone to go to lunch with you. ETC. But most importantly pray, talk to God about how you feel and learn how to give him your burdens and trust him.

      You are going to be okay!
      We are all praying for you!

  10. Ready to end it all says:

    These stories sound like my life…heartache after heartache. Loss of husband, parents, jobs. maybe even my home and my disabled mentally ill daughter. I just lost another job today that I tried my best at. What is the use? It took me over 16 months to get this one. Why does this keep happening to me? How am I supposed to make a living hen God took my husband? Please tell me…what is the use??

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      My friend, I’m so sorry that you are going through all this. I can relate on many of your struggles, as I myself have a paralyzed and mentally challenged daughter from a car crash.

      But I have a question for you; what if the problem isn’t being alive, but not knowing how to pray against all these attacks you are experiencing. Yes, that’s what I think it is. Despite all the problems I’ve been through, I’ve found how to have peace and joy in difficulties, and I have learned to do this through prayer.

      Prayer to stop the enemy’s attacks: I cancelled any curse, any evil words made against me by anyone as well as all ongoing evil strategies and plans against me from the enemy of my soul — in the power of the name and the blood of Jesus. I also cancel any lie that I believe about my life or any words or thoughts of death or suicide that I have made in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.

      I ask Lord that you turn all the disasters in my life around and turn them into miracles. Open my eyes so I can see the blessing that you are giving me and teach me how to be grateful for those.

      In Jesus name amen.

      Prayers like this one have changed my life and I would like to challenge you or anyone else who is struggling to pray the prayer above for 40 days.
      Praying for you my friend.
      P.S. If you need to know how to start a relationship with God, please check out: http://www.GodTest.com

      One more thing, to learn more about this kind of prayer, read When You Need a Miracle by Linda Evans Shepherd.

  11. I can so relate to a lot of peoples stories on here. Lately it just seems that I am cursed. Everything has just been going wrong. Just in the last month my boyfriends dad went to the hospital, my bf got pulled over while going to see him there and now we owe $300 plus in tickets, my Mom was in the hospital, my truck broke down right after I left from visiting her there, the VA decided to take all of my boyfriends disability money to pay for a class that he was unable to pass, i went to the emergency room for my untreated heart problems, my electric was shut off and I am on the brink of being homeless. Not to mention the fact that I have lost 20 pounds from practically starving to death. Even though I work a full time job, it is just not cutting it. I try to keep being strong and telling myself to give it to God but I find myself wondering some days why I even keep trying.

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      Hey Tracy,
      My goodness you have a long lists of troubles. First, please know that we are so sorry these things have happened. But let me encourage you to keep trying, and to keep giving it all to God. I too have had season in my life that were much like what you are describing. In fact, my baby was injured in a car crash and I thought God would never ‘show up.’ But that was 25 years ago and I can tell you that he did show up. In fact, he taught me to trust him even through the hard times. My daughter is grown up and disabled. But to her disability, I say, ‘so what?’ she’s still my daughter and I love her just the way she is…a blessing of joy.

      I also realize that my difficult times have helped me learn how to lean into God. That’s why I have joy and peace. Know that joy and peace aren’t rewards for having no troubles, it’s a choice you make even when you have troubles. You can choose to hava joy and peace even when you don’t feel as though you have anything to be joyful or peaceful about. I learned to do this through praying prayers like,

      God HELP! I need you. I need you to take my situations and turn them into miracles. HELP ME! In the meantime, I choose to trust you. I choose your joy and peace through these difficulties. Thank you that you are with me. I choose to turn my eyes to you and I know you will help me walk through these difficulties.

      Praying for you my friend!

      • Thanks Linda for your prayers and encouragement! I am trying to hang in here and keep on giving it to the man upstairs. The next couple of weeks are going to be a challenge as I wont be able to pay my bills but I am praying that I might qualify for assistance from my job to at least gets things a little more stable, for this month anyway.

        • Thinking About Suicide says:

          Hey Tracy, you have the right idea. Things can look bleak, and sometimes God waits till the last minute to show us where the next step will be. But he will show you and when he does, just keep taking the next step as it presents itself. Then the next. And the next thing you know you are in a totally different and better place. Praying for you!

  12. Just want to say my heart goes out to this girl and everyone who just doesnt have the strength to be strong enough. In 2005 I spent a month in the hospital and found out I had meningitis. I collapsed before admittance and was later told I was a couple days from death due to misdiagnosis. Additionally, I was told I had full blown Aids. I recovered physically but never emotionally although I have moved forward and make the best of my life by writing and lots of fishing. However, I lived premiscuosly in the 80s and 90s and it all caught up. I suffer from survivors guilt and my own father commited suicide when I was 17. Ive been a US Marine, an electrician and have worn other hats but now I am a. father of a young son. The days do get tough though and I have to admit there are days I wish it would end and others that arent so bad. So….I hope if yyou are hurting you take a step back and see what you have and realize its ok to not be strong enough. I do now.

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