“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” – Matthew 19:29 [ESV].
100 years old. A century. Think about it… someone who is 100 years old today was born the same year Woodrow Wilson became president. The average wage earner brought home just under $1300 per year. Milk cost 32 cents a gallon, gas was 12 cents and the average car $490. World War I was still a year away. Cracker Jack started putting prizes in their boxes, and the IRS started collecting federal income tax. Stainless steel was invented that year, Henry Ford introduced the assembly line, and Charlie Chaplin began his film career.
Let’s face it. A lot happens over the course of a century. If you live to be 100 and still live on your own, you are doing remarkably well. If you’re really blessed, Willard Scott will show your picture on the “Today” show. The last thing you expect is to hear is, “Next year, you two will have a baby!” Especially of you and your spouse were never able to conceive a child.
Consider Abraham and Sarah. Abraham is no Tony Randall. His wife is a spry 90 years old. And, when Sarah overheard the proclamation that she would give birth at her age, she laughed. (Wouldn’t you?) And God’s response: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:13, ESV).
Likewise, upon receiving the news from an archangel that she would conceive our Savior as a virgin, and that her cousin Elizabeth (who, coincidently, had never been able to conceive and had passed her childbearing years) was pregnant, Mary was astonished. The angel’s response: “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, ESV).
And then there is the account of the rich young ruler, where we see how difficult it is to put God above all else, including / especially earthly wealth. Jesus explains that, in and of ourselves, salvation is impossible. We simply do not possess the wherewithal to save ourselves. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:29, ESV).
The Bible is filled with examples of the impossible: bodies healed, impossible battles won, astounding rescues, dead raised, thousands fed on the lunch of one child, lives turned around and set right, amazing grace and eternal love.
This morning, our pastor challenged us with this: when was the last time you considered what God is possible of doing? When did we last step out in faith, knowing nothing with God is impossible? When did you last trust the LORD to see you through a difficulty, a hardship? Sometimes it is easier to give up, to find a cave to crawl in and hide.
But know this: God can do anything. Whatever you are facing is no surprise to God. Never will He say, “Whoa! I didn’t see that one coming!” Bad stuff happens. But know that, when are at our lowest, “God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
There is a really good reason Jesus instructs us to seek the kingdom of God first, and do not worry (Matthew 6:33-34). Worry binds us. Anxiety torments us. Fear freezes us solid. But, realizing nothing is impossible with God… now that frees us!
Tonight, I challenge us all with this: what are you afraid of? What is holding you back? What’s keeping you up at night? Whatever it is, lay the worry aside. Go to God. Go to your quiet place, get down on your knees before the LORD and talk to Him. Give Him your fears and doubts and anxious thoughts. Trust Him to work in your life, in your circumstance, whatever it is. Accept God’s will and realize that simply having God with you is greater than anything outcome you may fear, anything you dread facing, anything that causes you anxiety or fear or doubt.
You are loved, more than you can comprehend. Rest in the LORD. Trust Him without exception, for that is what faith truly is. And hang in there. Our circumstances are rarely what they seem, and God can bring you an outcome of great blessing. Just cling to Him and find your joy in the LORD through Jesus Christ.