Is Anything Too Hard for God?

September 15, 2017

Is anything too hard for God?

God tells the prophet Jeremiah that He is going to punish the people for their rebellion against Him. Indeed, He promises to destroy Jerusalem and the very temple that pictures His dwelling in their midst. But He also promises that decades later He will gather the people from where they are scattered and show them His redeeming love; they will be His people, and He will be their God. It is in this context that He says: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

If God can do that – if He can punish and He can redeem, if He can scatter and He can unite, if He can use human empires both to destroy according to His plan and to build up according to His plan – is there anything He cannot do?

No. Nothing is too hard for Him.

Consider a few of the many Scriptures that make similar claims:

  • [When God promises that a 90 year old woman who has been barren her entire life will bear a son fathered by her 99 year old husband] “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14a)
  • [Similarly, when the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she, a virgin, will give birth to a son, and that her elderly, barren cousin Elizabeth is already pregnant] “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
  • [Job speaks after God has displayed and spoken of His power, glory and wisdom] “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
  • [When there are hundreds of thousands of Israelites in the wilderness and God has promised them meat. Moses is skeptical]  And the LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.” (Numbers 11:23)
  • Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Num 23:19b)
  • Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3)
  • Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. (Psalm 135:6)
  • For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27)
  • Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:28-29)
  • “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’ . . .. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” (From Isaiah 46:9-11)
  • All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)
  • [When a man asks Jesus for healing for his son, after Jesus’ disciples were unable to heal 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.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22-24)
  • [When the disciples wonder if anyone can be saved if it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom] Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

So the claim of Scripture is all-encompassing: God has authority over conception, over illness, over sin, over rebellion, over repentance, over faith. We need His help always, in all areas – including our faith!

But God is not our all-powerful genie in the bottle, at our beck and call, who grants us any wishes that we might ask. He has already declared the end; He will accomplish His purpose. Our purpose will not stand; God’s will.

And so consider the way that Jesus Himself prays as He notes the Father’s unstoppable power:

“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

Jesus shrank back from the horror of the cross. He knew that protecting Him from the Jewish leaders and the Roman governor was simple for the Father. God could thwart their plans; that was possible for Him. But Jesus also knew that God’s plan, God’s will, included His going to the cross. He knew that the end God had stated from the beginning – blessing all nations through the seed of Abraham, covering the sin of rebels by the sacrifice of His Son, ushering in an eternal Kingdom of righteousness and peace ruled by a descendant of David – Jesus knew that this glorious end required that He go to the cross. And so He went.

So God is more powerful than the illness you face, than the sin that tempts you, than hardness of anyone’s heart; God is well able to comfort every sorrow, to grant wisdom to the foolish, to bring rebels to repentance. Nothing is too hard for Him.

Therefore, trust this almighty God! He works all things together to fulfill His great plan. Whatever trials you are facing, however weak you are in yourself, look to Him! Delight in His sovereign power, which He wields for the good of His people and the glory of his Name.

 

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