God is most glorified when our circumstances seem the most impossible.
In Genesis 18, God visited His people, Abraham and Sarah, in Genesis accompanied by two angels. In their conversation, God revealed more about His plan for Abraham and Sarah’s family. He confirmed that one year later, they would have a son!
But when God told Sarah they would have a son the next year, her response was to laugh. After all, Sarah had already gone through menopause (v.12-13). She also believed she was barren! Sarah laughed because she thought what God promised was impossible.
But God demonstrated great care for Sarah. Though she was hidden in the tent, working to prepare a meal for the visitors, God sought her out. Even though Sarah laughed to herself, God was listening for her response. And even though she denied laughing, God called out her unbelief! He challenged Sarah, asking: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
It almost seems that God came that day for the sake of specifically reaching and encouraging Sarah. God had visited Abraham before, but Sarah had never been visited by God personally. She always heard the promise secondhand. When God spoke these words in the presence of Sarah, she too was able to partake in the promise. God reminded her that though the promise of new life through a dead body seemed impossible, nothing is too hard for God!
What does this tell us about our relationship with God?
God loves to challenge us with promises that seem impossible in our own strength. Maybe the promise that we can rejoice at all times or be content in all circumstances feels far from your reality. Maybe you felt God called you to start a business, ministry, or family but doors keep closing and the more you press forward the more it seems like nothing will work out.
Just like having a child was physically impossible for Sarah in her own strength, most of what God calls us to is impossible in our own strength. You read that right. MOST of what God calls us to is impossible without Him.God sets up and allows these circumstances on purpose so we are forced to rely and depend on Him. He knows that if it was easy, or easy enough to do with our own talents and resources, it would be too easy to take the credit ourselves. When we are at the end of ourselves, we finally recognize that all the credit belongs to God. Our breakthrough becomes the testimony of miraculous strength, provision, and endurance that reaches the world around us.
When the going gets tough, we must hold onto this truth: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?
What does this reveal about God?
God knows we are not perfect in our faith. In this passage, Sarah reacted to a promise from God in unbelief -- she outright laughed at Him! Yet God responded by gently challenging her and encouraging her to fix her eyes not on the truth of her dead body, but on the truth of her powerful, living God. Even when we react in unbelief, God is still faithful to hold up His end of the promise. He cares about our response to Him, and part of our journey with God is learning how to respond to impossible situations in faith. He is gentle and loving, yet firm, in this process. He often challenges us and pushes us in the process in order to break down unbelief we have or reliance on our own strength. The essence of God’s personality is faithfulness. Even when our faith is imperfect, His faithfulness remains perfect.
“And they brought the boy to [Jesus]. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.”” -Mark 9:20-23
Sarah doubted that anything new could come from something that seemed dead. In what areas of your life are you doubting that something new is possible for you? What promises of God seem impossible or incredulous in your life today?
God reminded Sarah that though the promise of new life through a dead body seems impossible, nothing is too hard for God! Pray in faith that God would work in an area of your life that seems impossible!
God, I believe that all things are possible for You. Thank you for Your great power and might. Thank you for seeing me, noticing me, and hearing me on days when my faith is strong and on days when my faith is weak. There are many things in my life that seem impossible right now, but I believe in faith you will provide a way. I pray you would strengthen my spirit to believe and claim all your promises. Help my unbelief! Lord, remind me of who You are. Remind me that all things are possible for You! Amen.