Monday, June 12, 2017

When things seem too hard for God

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 18:1-15

TO CHEW ON: “‘Is anything too hard for the LORD?’” Genesis 18:4

I am right now aware of several circumstances that are difficult, even seem impossible. In the light of our focus verse “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”—a rhetorical question where the implied answer is ‘No, nothing is too hard for God’—I pray that God would intervene in these circumstances. I want Him to heal, restore function, reverse the effects of sickness and things gone wrong.

So far, though, He hasn’t. Does that mean these things are too hard for God, that there actually is something too hard for Him?

My go-to source for theological definitions defines God’s all-powerfulness (omnipotence):
“God’s omnipotence means God is able to all His holy will.” There are some things He will not do, however: lie - Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18; deny Himself - 2 Timothy 2:13; be tempted with evil - James 1:3. - from Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 216.
  • Job confessed God’s omnipotence - Job 42:2.
  • So did the psalmist - Psalm 115:3; 136:6.
  • And Isaiah - Isaiah 43:13.
  • Jesus Himself uttered the words ‘… with men this (a rich man entering the Kingdom of Heaven) is impossible but with God all things are possible’” - Matthew 19:26.
  • However, there was one time when even Jesus’ request was denied. In Gethsemane before His crucifixion, He prayed, ‘Abba Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not what I will, but what You will’” - Mark 14:36.

God the Father didn’t remove “the cup”—suffering, crucifixion, bearing the sins of the world, separation from Himself, death—that Jesus requested. If God’s omnipotence means that He is able to accomplish all His holy will, then this “no” to Jesus was part of His holy will… and His “no” to us when we pray but don’t get the results we want, is also part of His holy will.

With our incomplete sight we keep praying, perhaps even as long as there is life and breath. Jesus did praise the persistent friend and told us to keep asking, seeking, knocking - Luke 11:5-13.

However, whatever the ultimate answer—no, wait, yes—we can have the confidence that all will work out, in time or eternity, for good because of God’s heart of love for us - 1 John 4:16-18, Romans 8:28-30.

Dear Father, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around You allowing people to go through things that appear to be nothing but evil. This is when I must truly walk by faith, not by sight. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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