Have you ever gotten to the point in your life where you felt like you were at the end of your rope? Everything you tried seemed to just blow up in your face. Nothing went like you had hoped, or even as you had planned. And, you felt as though you just kept coming up against brick walls.
Your heart was in the right place, and you were moving in a forward direction, but Satan just kept fighting hard against you, using loved ones, friends, or church people to oppose you, and to try to get you to compromise with the world, or to not take life so seriously.
It seemed no one was on your side, and “in your ball court,” except God. Even those who were supposed to love and support and protect you had turned against you, and so you felt without hope, without resources, and lacking the strength to fight anymore. And, so you just wanted to throw up the white flag and say, “I surrender!” Have you been there? I have!
So, what are we to do when we get to that place? We need to call on God for help, for strength, for comfort, for healing, and for direction. We need to also fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us with the truth of God’s Word. And, this is the truth from his Word regarding these times in our lives.
The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” Gen. 18:14 ESV
Abraham and Sarah were well past childbearing age, and yet God promised them that they would have a son, and that Abraham would be the father of many nations. The Bible says this about Abraham:
“Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform” (Rom. 4:20-21 NASB).
I think sometimes we grow weary when what we hope for takes too long, and so we get impatient with God, and thus, when things get really hard, we are ready to “throw in the towel.” We give up too soon, because we feel that what we hope for is not going to happen. We have our eyes fixed on our circumstances, instead of on God, and so we decide it is an impossible situation, and there is just no way that good will come out of it. And, so we bail, because it got too hard, and/or because it looked too impossible.
But, we forget that, with God, anything is possible, according to his will and purpose. Nothing within his perfect will is too hard for him to do. He is the God of impossible situations. He is the God of miracles, too. So, we need to yield to God’s will, pray for direction, and then do what he shows us, and move forward, not backward. Instead of just giving up, we should see what God is up to, then trust him, and then follow his lead.
Not Looking Good?
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jer. 32:17 ESV
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” Jer. 32:27 ESV
God’s people were in captivity. Jerusalem was under siege. Jeremiah was under arrest and being held in confinement because of what he was prophesying in the name of the Lord. Things didn’t look too promising. And, yet, God told Jeremiah to buy a field, so he did, even though, by human understanding, it probably was illogical.
God’s people were in captivity because, although God had rescued them, and he had provided for them, and had led them, they did not obey him, but they did evil in his sight. So, God judged them, and he brought disaster on them, but not to destroy them, but to bring them to their knees, so they would return to him.
So, again, things were not exactly looking good. The people were living in open rebellion against God. Sin was abounding. And, now their land was being conquered. All looked pretty hopeless. But, then God said, “Is anything too hard for me?”
You see, God had a plan. And, his plan was to revive his people and to bring them back into fellowship with him, so that he would be their God, and they would be his people. His plan was, that through a very difficult circumstance, he would work a miracle in their hearts and lives. And, that they would fear him, and so they would walk in his ways. Now he would bring good on them. And, fields would be bought once more.
So, sometimes, when things look utterly hopeless, we need to seek God’s face and allow him to show us what he is doing in these circumstances, and how he is working all things for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purposes. When things seem to be at their very worst may be the time when God will break through, and a miracle will happen. So, we have to know that nothing, within God’s will, is too hard for God. So, we should never give up, but we should trust him, walk with him, and do what he tells us to do, for he has a plan.
But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Lu. 18:23-27 ESV
Hard, difficult, challenging, and even nearly impossible is not too hard for God. We can’t do it, but he can. We see stubborn and rebellious hearts, living in sin, addicted to all sorts of sinful practices, children and spouses being abused, betrayed and abandoned, and cruel and inhumane treatment of the oppressed at the hands of the wealthy and powerful, and we wonder if there is any hope that this will ever end.
We see lives torn apart by sin, hatred and violence, lies and betrayal, broken marriages, and children exposed to all sorts of evil via internet devices, and we wonder when or if God will ever intervene. We see the addicted, too, hanging on to their idols, often unwilling to let go, or fighting to hold on, or trying to delicately balance their sinful practices with their Christian lives, and we wonder if they will ever come to their senses and truly give God their all in total surrender to his will. Some people have already written them off, and have decided they will never change.
Yet, I believe in miracles. I’ve seen a soul set free! I know God’s power to change lives and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. So, there is always hope until they are dead or until Jesus Christ returns. Until then, we should keep praying, because with man, this is impossible, this deliverance from our chains, but with God, it is not.
So, when things look bleak, when our plans fail, when life kicks us in the rear, and the opposition is strong, we need to put on the armor of God and fight Satan and his lies and believe in God’s Word and his promises, and then just let him lead us as to the way he wants us to go. Instead of running away when life gets too hard, we need to run to God. He may say, “Leave,” but he may say, “Stay.” So, we need to do what he says, and then just trust him with the results. He will give us all we need to endure, and the wisdom we need to keep persevering, even when all looks utterly hopeless. We just need to rest in him, rely on his strength and power, and keep pressing on.
His Strength Is Perfect
Steven Curtis Chapman
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect
Sunday, December 31, 2017, 6:13 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging and hopeful words. Help us to hear you clearly, and to follow your lead, and to run to you and not from you when things get hard.