Many times we find ourselves thinking that from our perspective the current situation is hopeless and there is nowhere to go. We may get to this point over health issues, a sudden death of a loved one, or just an overwhelming situation thatÂ is spiraling out of our control. It is then we must stop, refocus, and remember that God is always in control and knows all that is happening to each of us. God is the impossibility specialist. This week we will look at impossible situations made possible through God as our focus verse is,
Luke 1:37; ”For nothing is impossible with God” (NLT)
It was Christmas Eve and he felt himself sinking down in a fog of depression that was bellowing up. He had tried to sound as cheerful as he could under the circumstances. His call with his wife had ended abruptly as the call disconnected. They had spoken, as long as the time allowed, but it was not enough. HeÂ should beÂ with her and his family at this very moment but was not.
Oh how his life had suddenly changed in just a matter of a few weeks. His ideal familyÂ shattered, his career dissolving before his very eyes, his future suddenly bleak and extremely unstable. Last year, at this time and on this day he was getting ready to leave for the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church with his family. Just as they did every year, they had eaten a great feast of a meal, the formality his wife wanted, with all the trimming he desired. They had laughed, talked, and teased the children about whether Santa was going to visit and if they were or were not going to open one gift before bed as it was a tradition. Yes, life was good as he looked back on fond memories but then it didn’t seem so special. But now, an entirely different perspective is in play, what was life going to bring? Where was God going with this? What was God’s plan? He suddenly identified with the beginnings of Job and felt the loss deep within himself.
Just as few weeks ago he had been fast asleep in bed when his familyÂ awokeÂ in the night with a pounding at the door. He shook the sleep from his body and quickly put on a pair of pants and went to the door to see what was going on while his wife and childrenÂ huddled together and watched from the upstairs balcony. He turned on the front porch lights and opened the door to find two uniformed deputies announcing they held a warrant for his arrest in another part of the state. He fell into a state of shock and disbelief, his children were upset and confused, his wife was full of questions, and he felt thisÂ could only be a great mistake. The stern but polite deputies could offer no answers merely replied they were following orders. He left with the two men telling his wife he would get this straightened out and call her when he did.
The next hours turned into days which then turned into weeks and all had been a blur as he found himself accused of things he knew nothing about, a bondÂ denied by a newly appointed judge who was building a reputation, and himself surrounded by a group of men, many of who had long prison records and sordid pasts. It was a nightmare of unbelievable proportion. He had not been allowed to see his wife and children except by a video. The attorney, his wife had contacted, had only been seenÂ a few times and briefly, none of which brought any comfort as he just made blunt statements and began talking about trials, pleas,Â and deals. A plea, a deal,Â a trial, how; was all he could ask as he thought he lived in a free country? Where were proof, evidence, and witnesses? He felt overwhelmed by it all and immediately turned to God where he sought to find strength. In these past few weeks he read, studied, and most of all prayed. He started a Bible study with a group of men that he would not have normally associated with but now he was part of their group. He found himself suddenly cast in the role as one of them.
Oh until tonight he had tried very hard to put his trust in God, he knew heÂ was to have faith, he knew it was what the Bible taught, and for the most part he had put forward a good front but this was Christmas Eve and he shouted silently, “God, where are you? What is going to happen? This is not where I belong!” He fell to his knees in shame of his questions and cried out to God in anguish for help, to help him understand, to find peace, and to allow God to control. As he began to pray he could feel a burden being lifted, his pain began to slowly ebb away and a peace descended. His seemingly impossible situation had not changed but he knew God was with him and he felt strengthened by that.
He rose from his knees and picked up the Bible his wife had ordered for him. It was a small paperback version of his Bible, as the prisonÂ had refused to allow her to bring in his personal study Bible that he used every day before this nightmare had begun. He flipped through the pages seeking wisdom, a revelation, a purpose of all he was going through, anything to find relief, answers, or comfort. Â The pages divinely fell open to the gospel of Luke and he began to read. The verses were words he had read before as it was the beginning of the true Christmas story.Â As he continued to read he felt compelledÂ to focus. Â Luke 1:37 with the words of Gabriel seemed to stand out on the page, ”For nothing is impossible with God.”(NLT) He smiled to himself finding the comfort he sought in the verse and the fact heÂ wasÂ led to read it. He thought God is listening and hearsÂ my cries. He continued to read the verse and whisper it softly to himself.
Tony, a big Italian man and a seasoned, but caring inmate,Â came by his bunk to see how he was holding up and if he was alright. Tony asked what he was reading and whispering, so he shared the verse heÂ had read. Tony seemed taken back with the verse and asked him to repeat it again. As he read the words againÂ out loudÂ Tony began to repeat them with a great smile upon his face, ”For nothing is impossible with God”, ”For nothing is impossible with God” getting louder each time he said them. Tony began to move around the dorm almost in a dance moving faster and faster continuing to repeat the verse as he shared it with everyone, ”For nothing is impossible with God”. The other inmates one by one began to join in the excitement until the hollow cement walled prison cavern filled with men chanting, ”For nothing is impossible with God”. The voices continued to crescendo with each chant until the momentum built to a terrifically loud chorus with the echoesÂ bouncing back to surround them all on this very lonely Christmas Eve with desperate, soul woundedÂ men seeking hope and comfort in God and finding it. ”For nothing is impossible with God.” The voices finally dissipated with just a few whispersÂ remaining toÂ echo through the still dark air but the open space that was so empty and void was now filled with warmth and comfort.
And so just before midnight, in stunned awe of what he hadÂ experienced he forgot about his problems and praised God with tears running down his face for what he had witnessed by sight and sound this night, a special night of faith that had brought comfort to many on this Christmas Eve, a night in which all had reflected upon the greatest gift ever sent to earth, the gift of salvation through God’s son, Jesus Christ. Love came down and gave hopeÂ to all; a night of impossibility made possible both thousands of years ago and tonightÂ – ”For nothing is impossible with God.” (NLT)
This Christmas story is one that is not season bound and it shares how faith in scripture can give us all hope at any given time no matter what our circumstancesÂ are. So as we move into advent and the Christmas season we focus withÂ the Virgin Mary as the gift of hope for all begins to make its way to earth,Â as she learns she is to give birth to this Holy gift and that her relative Elizabeth is also going to have a child. This short verse ”For nothing is impossible with God.” spoken by the angel Gabriel packs a great promise for us all.Â These wordsÂ of faith and leave no room for any doubt of lesser things. The Bible overflows with scriptures of faith, strength, and great promises to come for those who believe in the power of God and the ability to control the impossible. Jesus echoes Gabriel’s words in Matthew 19:26 as heÂ discusses the power of God.
”Jesus looked at them intently and said, ”Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (NLT)
We, humans, find it hard to comprehend things that are not in our power or control so we have to have great faith to believe in the incomprehensible and impossible thingsÂ God makes possible seen throughout the history of the Bible.
In Genesis 18:14 we find Abraham and his wife Sarah being told they will have baby. Perhaps this doesn’t sound impossible untilÂ we realize she waited ninety years for this child and he was a hundred. With God this was possible and it did happen as the Jewish people trace their history back to Abraham through this son of Sarah whom they called Isaac.
The story of Job is one in which everything was lost onlyÂ to gain more in the end with the learning of and recognizing the power of God. In Job 42:2 we find Job confirmingÂ his faith and recognizing God’s power. Job lost everything but because of his faith he was not only blessed with what he had before but with greater blessings. A seemingly impossible task made possible with God.
It takes great faith to hang on to the impossibility that God can produce. Reading Jeremiah 32:17 we find Jeremiah praying and confirming his trust in God recognizing God’s power over all things. Jeremiah has just boughtÂ land in a war sieged country because God told him to. He paid a fair price and did so while he was a prisoner of war. The purchased land was so when the people returned to Jerusalem from exile they would have somewhere to return to and belong to the Jewish people. The country had been overtaken, war raged, things looked bleak and peopleÂ were beingÂ separated and exiled out of the country. Returning didn’t lookÂ possible to Jeremiah or the people but they moved forward with faith and history shows that God made this seemingly impossible task possible.
One hundred years later, God speaks to Zechariah as we read in Zechariah 8:6. He is with a small group of returning exiles in Jerusalem. God is telling him that one day things will be like it was in the older times when Jerusalem was a thriving city. This remnant of people was struggling to survive, the land ravaged, and this idea seemed preposterous and impossible but history shows that God made good on this promise. God is always in charge and in control and we must remember it is He that makes the plans and that makes the impossible, possible.
We can continue to name countless impossibilities through the Bible that God made possible ”“ Moses, David, Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary, and the greatest impossibility of all, our salvation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ ”“ all impossible situations made possible. God is almighty and powerful and uses His power to carry out His purposes. Learning to trust God’s power in difficult situations and circumstances is only possible if we align our lives, purposes, thinking, and desires with God. We must remember that Romans 8:28 says,
”And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”(NLT)
Our focus is to work striving to align our lives with God by learning, studying, praying, and listening. As we do these things in love for God our trust builds and strengthens and as this occurs, we, like the people of the Bible, learn that God often uses His power in the most impossible situations to make things possible for His purposes.
Faith in the power of God gives hope ”“ a hope of good things to come for those whose faith holds strong demonstrating to all the great love, God, our creator, has for us. He sent His son to die for all our sins, a ransom paid, no matter who we are or the lives we have led, rich or poor, good or bad and for this gift we only must believe.
As we move into this season of love let us remember and not forget the echoes that sounded in the night off the hollow prison walls that gives hope not only to desperate men but to all of us no matter our circumstances.
”For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (NLT)
This week and in the weeks to come we pray you find joy in the hope of the season of impossibility made possible by God.