Believing God for Things That Seem Impossible

“Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NIV)

Our small group is going through a class called “Freedom;” last night we talked about the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and our book included statement that hit me like a ton of bricks:

“it’s important to note that often the desire to know is in direct opposition to the desire to trust. We would rather gain knowledge to try and control our own lives than trust God to take care of us.”

Ouch - painfully accurate and painfully true, especially of me. Throughout my journey through chronic pain I can’t count the number of times I thought, “If I could just figure out what’s coming then things would be so much easier to handle.” Really Ryan? Looking back on this nearly decade-long experience, if I knew in advance the levels - and duration - of pain I would experience, I think I would have seriously lost my mind. None of this has been easy, but I’m so glad I’ve only had to do this one day at a time!

Still, as of late I’ve had a renewed fire to seek God and ask boldly for healing. To date the physical renewal I so long for has not come, and I’ll be honest - when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep because the pain is so severe, the waiting can feel cruel, impossible, hopeless, or all of the above. Still, I haven’t lost hope; there are just too many examples of God doing the impossible for me to give up.

Of course I’m not the first person who has had painful seasons of waiting on the Lord to do what seems impossible. Kia Stephens from Proverbs 31 Ministries shares her own waiting on the impossible story in her devotional “Believing God for Things That Seem Impossible.” Kia’s story was a decades-long wait for God to bring healing in a broken familial relationship. In the Bible we have the example of Sarah from the book of Genesis - told by God that she would bear a son, she would have to wait until she was 90(!!!) years old to see her promise come true. At one point she and her husband would try to take matters into their own hand by having Abraham sleep with her servant, a choice that would have significant consequences in the short and long term. (Have we ever done the same, taking matters into our own hands when we think God isn’t responding fast enough?).

Kia asks us this question:

Is there anything in your life that seems impossible?

Lingering for days and sometimes years, these things tempt us to believe they are beyond the reach of God. It may be a sickness, a financial need, a wayward family member or a difficult relationship (as it was in my case). No matter what it is, or how God chooses to bring about a resolution, things that seem impossible are possible with Him.

That last part is so important - nothing is impossible for God! Kia puts it this way in the conclusion of her devotional:

Although we cannot control how or when God answers prayer, His words to Abraham respond to our doubt as well: “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer to this question is a resounding, “No, nothing is too hard for Him.” He is able to do what seems impossible.

We can’t control God, and as the Word tells us his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. We know that sometimes his answers to prayer are “not yet” or even “no.” That should never stop us from asking, because no matter what the answer, we can pray with boldness because we know our God can do anything. We can believe him for things that seem impossible!