Problem: Paul writes, “We were burdened excessively, beyond our strength” (2 Cor. 1:8). However, in his first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able” (1 Cor. 10:13). Will God give us more than we can handle or not?
Solution: God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but he will allow us to be tested beyond what we are able. God will intentionally allow us to be put into situations where we are forced to depend on him—not ourselves (Mt. 14:22ff). When our trust in self expires, we are forced to depend on God. When we reach this state of brokenness, we are given infinite power and ability from God to persevere and grow (Phil. 4:13). However, apart from the power of God, we are utterly impotent in traversing the perils of life (Jn. 15:5).
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: (2 Cor 1:8)”