* God can do the impossible
Who could believe that Abraham would have a son at 100 years of age—and live to raise him to adulthood? But doing the impossible is everyday business for God. Our big problems won’t seem so impossible if we let God handle them. (NLT)
Genesis 21:1-7 – Then the Lord did exactly what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant, and she gave a son to Abraham in his old age. It all happened at the time God had said it would. And Abraham named his son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was one hundred years old at the time.
And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me. For who would have dreamed that I would ever have a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”
* Moses’ mother was reunited with her baby! God used her courageous act of saving and hiding her baby to begin his plan to rescue his people from Egypt. God doesn’t need much from us to accomplish his plan for our lives. Focusing on our human predicament may paralyze us because the situation may appear humanly impossible. But concentrating on God and his power will help us see the way out. Right now you may feel unable to see through your troubles. Focus instead on God, and trust him for the way out. That is all he needs to begin his work in you. (NLT)
Exodus 2:9 – “Take this child home and nurse him for me,” the princess told her. “I will pay you for your help.” So the baby’s mother took her baby home and nursed him.”
* There was no apparent way of escape, but the Lord opened up a dry path through the sea. Sometimes we find ourselves caught in a problem and see no way out. Don’t panic; God can open up a way. (NLT)
Exodus 14:21 – Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land.
* The astrologers told the king that “there isn’t a man alive” who could know the dreams of another person. What the king asked was humanly impossible. But Daniel could tell what the king had dreamed, and he could also give the interpretation because God was working through him. In daily life, we face many apparently impossible situations that would be hopeless if we had to handle them with our limited strength. But God specializes in working through us to achieve the impossible. (NLT)
Daniel 2:10-11 – The astrologers replied to the king, “There isn’t a man alive who can tell Your Majesty his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer! This is an impossible thing the king requires. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live among people.”
* When Jesus asked the disciples to provide food for over 5,000 people, they were amazed and said it would take a small fortune to feed such a crowd. How do you react when you are given an impossible task? A situation that seems impossible with human resources is simply an opportunity for God. The disciples did everything they could by gathering the available food and organizing the people into groups. Then, in answer to prayer, God did the impossible. When facing a seemingly impossible task, do what you can and ask God to do the rest. He may see fit to make the impossible happen. (NLT)
Mark 6:37-42 – But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “It would take a small fortune to buy food for all this crowd!”
“How much food do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.” Then Jesus told the crowd to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted. . .
* Zechariah thought it incredible that he and his wife, in their old age, could conceive a child. But what God promises, he delivers. And God delivers on time! You can have complete confidence that God will keep his promises. Their fulfillment may not be the next day, but they will be “at the proper time.” If you are waiting for God to answer some request or to fill some need, remain patient. No matter how impossible God’s promises may seem, what he has said in his Word will come true at the right time. (NLT)
Luke 1:20 – “And now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you won’t be able to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly come true at the proper time.”
* Obey God even when the task seems impossible
Think how hard it must have been for Moses to bring God’s message to Pharaoh when his own people had trouble believing it. Eventually the Hebrews believed that God had sent Moses, but for a time he must have felt very alone. Moses obeyed God, however, and what a difference it made! When the chances for success appear slim, remember that anyone can obey God when the task is easy and everyone is behind it. Only those with persistent faith can obey when the task seems impossible. (NLT)
Exodus 6:10-12 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave Egypt.”
“But Lord!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m no orator!”
* Faith is believing in the impossible
When Elisha prophesied God’s deliverance, the king’s officer said it couldn’t happen. The officer’s faith and hope were gone, but God’s words came true anyway! Sometimes we become preoccupied with problems when we should be looking for opportunities. Instead of focusing on the negatives, develop an attitude of expectancy. To say that God cannot rescue someone or that a situation is impossible demonstrates a lack of faith. (NLT)
2 Kings 7:1-2 – Elisha replied, “Hear this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver.”
The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”
But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”
* Prayer brings the impossible to God
Sennacherib, whose armies had captured all the fortified cities of Judah, sent a message to Hezekiah to surrender. Realizing the situation was hopeless, Hezekiah went to the Temple and prayed. God answered Hezekiah’s prayer and delivered Judah by sending an army to attack the Assyrian camp, forcing Sennacherib to leave at once. Prayer should be our first response in any crisis. Don’t wait until things are hopeless. Pray daily for his guidance. Our problems are God’s opportunities. (NLT)
2 Kings 19:1-7 – When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the Temple of the Lord to pray. And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, all dressed in sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what King Hezekiah says: This is a day of trouble, insult, and disgrace. It is like when a child is ready to be born, but the mother has no strength to deliver it. But perhaps the Lord your God has heard the Assyrian representative defying the living God and will punish him for his words. Oh, pray for those of us who are left!”
After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a report from Assyria telling him that he is needed at home. Then I will make him want to return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’”
* God does impossibilities through us
God is in the business of working through his people to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. God often shapes people with personality characteristics, experiences, and training that prepare them for his purpose, and usually the people have no idea what God has in store for them. God prepared and positioned Nehemiah to accomplish one of the Bible’s “impossible” tasks.
Nehemiah was a common man in a unique position. He was secure and successful as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes. Nehemiah had little power, but he had great influence. He was trusted by the king. He was also a man of God, concerned about the fate of Jerusalem.
Seventy years earlier, Zerubbabel had managed to rebuild God’s Temple. Thirteen years had passed since Ezra had returned to Jerusalem and helped the people with their spiritual needs. Now Nehemiah was needed. Jerusalem’s wall was still in ruins, and the news broke his heart. As he talked to God, a plan began to take form in Nehemiah’s mind about his own role in the rebuilding of the city walls. He willingly left the security of his home and job in Persia to follow God on an “impossible” mission. And the rest is history.
From beginning to end, Nehemiah prayed for God’s help. He never hesitated to ask God to remember him, closing his autobiography with these words: “Remember this in my favor, O my God.” Throughout the “impossible” tasks, Nehemiah displayed unusual leadership. The wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in record time, despite resistance. Even Israel’s enemies grudgingly and fearfully admitted that God was with these builders. Not only that, but God worked through Nehemiah to bring about a spiritual awakening among the people of Judah.
You may not have Nehemiah’s unique abilities or feel that you are in a position where you can do anything great for God, but there are two ways you can become useful to God. First, be a person who talks to God. Welcome him into your thoughts and share yourself with him—your concerns, feelings, and dreams. Second, be a person who walks with God. Put what you learn from his Word into action. God may have an “impossible” mission that he wants to do through you. (NLT)
Nehemiah 2:18 – Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Good! Let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
* God won’t ask you to do the impossible
When the disciples expressed concern about where the crowd of thousands would eat, Jesus offered a surprising solution: “You feed them.” The disciples protested, focusing their attention on what they didn’t have (food and money). Do you think God would ask you to do something that you and he together couldn’t handle? Don’t let your lack of resources blind you to God’s power. (NLT)
Luke 9:13-14 – But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“Impossible!” they protested. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish. Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about five thousand men there.
“Just tell them to sit down on the ground in groups of about fifty each,” Jesus replied.
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