Archive for January, 2014 // All the posts in this month
Ron Osborn speaks on 1 Corinthians 1:1–18, January 25, 2014.
Karin Swarner speaks on Isaiah 55:8–9, John 3:16–17 and Romans 3:21–31 on January 18, 2014.
By Andrew Froemming
“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me” Philippians 4:13.
Life is full of situations that seem impossible. When we look in the Bible we see many sto- ries of situations that seemed impossible until something changes and the whole dynamic of the story shifts. Exodus 14 is a story about the children of Israel. Up until this point the children of Israel have been slaves in Egypt. It seemed improbable that they would ever be anything other than free labor for Pharaoh’s building projects. In the middle of their pain and helplessness God stepped in and turned the tables, getting Pharaoh to let Israel go. In Exodus 14 Israel has left Egypt to set up camp near the Red Sea. Pharaoh, upset at losing his free slave labor, decided to take his army and bring the Israelites back to Egypt. When Israel saw Pharaoh’s army coming to trap them,
“[...] they were terribly frightened and cried out to the Lord to help them [...]. Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today. The Egyptians you are looking at–you will never see them again. The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger!’”
How Do I Face “Impossible” Situations in Life?
Do I make excuses or do I step out in faith? Many times when faced with what seem like impossible odds my first inclination is to simply head in the opposite direction. I relate to Moses in the beginning of Exodus when he was called by God to lead the children out of Egypt into the Promised Land. While he didn’t physically run away He did try to shake off his calling by offering excuses (Exodus 4:10–11).
Another example of trying to leave behind the impos- sible is seen in one of Jesus’ most well-known miracles: the feeding of the 5,000. Just prior to Christ’s miracle Jesus’ disciples analyze the situation (Matthew 14:15). To the disciples feeding the crowd seemed impossible. We must ask ourselves: what do we do when faced with a seemingly impossible obstacle? Do we have faith and step up and allow the “impossible” to become possible? God will not use us to accomplish impossible things if we are “unwilling”.
Doing the “impossible” isn’t necessarily about us. It’s more about God, so with that said we need to look at another question…
Do I Believe God Can Do The Impossible?
The Bible is full of examples of the impossible being done. Stories like David and Goliath, Jonah, Noah, Moses and more. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, do we believe God can do the “impossible” through us? We have seen God work through people in ages past; but do we truly believe He can still do it today? It can be easy to say we have faith in God to do the “impossible.” However if we aren’t willing to take a risk and attempt the impossible, then our faith might be shallow.
One prime example of God working and being allowed to work though someone is in the life of the Apostle Paul. How could a man–often hungry and suffering from other great deprivations–exude joy instead of complaining? It was the inner power that came from God. Paul took no credit for what he accomplished but gave it to God. Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:13 must be understood in this context. There is no limit to God’s power but there are things that God did not and does not intend to do such as the removal of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7–9). Paul knew his strength for everything came from the One who continually empowered him.
God wants us to be desperate for His power. But as long as we think we can do things in our own strength, we will never be desperate for God. We will keep getting in the way of God’s empowerment rather than receiving it. Every miracle of God begins with an impossible situation. The storms and setbacks of life are opportunities for us to trust God. God rewards those who diligently seek after Him. We cannot attempt the impossible under our own strength. However when we seek the Lord in the midst of our impossible circumstances, He reveals His power and presence by accomplishing the impossible through us. When you step out on His strength, the impossible can become possible! Friends, let’s step out of the boat–it’s much safer on the water with Jesus than in our little boats without Him.
Jody Washburn speaks on Ecclesiastes 2:1–11. January 11, 2014.